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Campus Message - June 1, 2020

Fountain at Powell Plaza with Chapel and Wallace in background
Dear campus community,
 
Eastern Kentucky University embraces an environment where everyone is welcome, respected and included. The University condemns acts of racism, discrimination, and hatred. Our nation witnessed the heartbreaking deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and so many others. Our deepest condolences go out to their families, friends and communities. They should be alive right now. For far too long, many communities in America have endured injustice. We strongly support those who are peacefully voicing their disdain for brutality and the unfair treatment of the black community. 
 
Today, racial inequality continues to manifest in the premature deaths of black men and women across the nation. As citizens across our great country pour into our streets, risking their health to voice their demand for change, we must search for positive outcomes that validate the sacrifices of those who suffered through the decades of racial inequality and forms of systemic violence and racism that continue today. 
 
One simple step that all of us can immediately take is to embrace and practice kindness and compassion. Being kind to each other is a hallmark of the EKU experience. But it goes much further than our campus boundaries. Kindness and compassion provide hope for those who feel alone. It is free to give and priceless to those who receive it. Today, our kindness, compassion and unwavering support cannot come too soon. It starts with each one of us looking inside ourselves and committing to being a part of the positive change that is needed, and that will change the world forever.  
 
Along with acts of kindness, we also possess the power to educate. At EKU, we strive to create a holistic educational experience for every student. We focus on rigorous program study, but we also focus on many other aspects of education and growth that create a well-rounded citizen who is informed on multiple levels, including recognition of cultural differences and exposure to people with diverse backgrounds. It is a place where ideas are shared, cultures are respected, learning is celebrated and we feel safe to debate, learn and grow in our understanding of societal issues in a civil manner that is focused on solutions. EKU, like other institutions of higher learning, offers a beacon of hope and opportunity to all individuals who are looking to fulfill their dreams.
 
We already have several groups working on plans surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic to define the “new normal” for EKU. As the school of opportunity, we must seize this moment to make positive, meaningful changes to how we learn, work and live together. In a time when control of our future is uncertain, we must keep our campus as a place that offers equal access and opportunity to students, staff and faculty. As we move forward in reopening our campus, we will work to ensure that we preserve these values.     
 
EKU’s students, faculty, staff and alumni must pull together and share an umbrella of kindness, compassion and love to weather the storms we face in these unprecedented times.
 
I am proud to be a member of the Eastern Kentucky University family and for the time that I am leading the University, I will carry myself in a way that makes you proud. Together, we can show the world what a safe, inclusive and equitable campus looks like. 
 
Sincerely,
 
David T. McFaddin
Interim President
Eastern Kentucky University

Published on June 01, 2020

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