By Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser, Colorado Mountain College president & CEO
It is hard to believe how the past three months have unfolded – both close to home and in parts of our country that seem very far away from our beloved mountain towns.
We find ourselves in a nation that stands divided. Over the weekend, we witnessed protests, riots, and civil unrest from coast to coast. And, here in Colorado.
Our history as a country is marked by inequity, socioeconomic disparity, and intolerance for people who may seem different – whether because of their religion, skin color, immigration status, sexual orientation, language, political disposition, or otherwise.
And, even with periodic waves of progress toward a more just, equal, and loving society, profoundly tragic events like the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer rip open our collective wounds that never fully have a chance to heal.
Add to this a global pandemic that has crippled our economy, separated us from loved ones, and disrupted our daily lives in ways we never could have envisioned. Our collective anxiety is high, revealing a very real layer of fear, uncertainty, and tension just below the surface.
The combination has left many of us confused, disoriented, angry, and heartbroken.
But it is in times like these that our resolve to fight for the values we hold dear to us at CMC should become stronger than ever.
Inclusion. Equity. Civility. Tolerance. Acceptance. Dignity.
And, simply, caring for others.
Each of us individually is a beacon of hope, love, and change.
As a college, let us join together in turning this tide. To make every effort to respect others and their perspectives. To shed prejudices we might hold – consciously or unconsciously. To care about neighbors, families, and children who are not our own.
Let’s double down – once again – to ensure our college and communities are places where everyone is safe, belongs, and knows they have value. Rather than assumptions, let’s seek understanding, disagree agreeably, call out injustice and hate bravely and constructively, and allow our actions to be guided by hope and resolve. Resolve to live by the “platinum rule” where we treat others as they wish to be treated.
More than ever, let us be reminded of CMC’s vision and aspiration to be “…the most inclusive, innovative, student-centered college in the nation…” and by doing so, “elevate the economic, social, cultural and environmental vitality of our beautiful Rocky Mountain communities.”
Together, let us strive for the day when there is no longer a need for this call to action.