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A message from President Belton

Posted by:
June 1, 2020

Dear PLU community,

I’m heartbroken over the continued loss of Black lives across our country. With the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, I’m angry at a system that collectively excuses and perpetuates racist violence. As frustrations and calls for action continue to manifest in the streets, I mourn with families and communities who have lost loved ones.

As a university of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we are called upon to live our commitment to combating racism and white supremacy. We commend our students, alumni, faculty, and staff who already are contributing their professional expertise and volunteering their time, energy, and financial resources to antiracism causes.

At PLU, we strive to equip our students — and ourselves — with the critical thinking, compassion, and courage to contribute to the dismantling of systems of oppression that remain at large throughout our government, non-profit, and private sectors — as well as in our own institution.

We commit to continue working to be a university that does not shy away from difficult conversations about racism, white supremacy, and inequity; and to re-evaluate our climate, policies, curriculum, and more to create an authentic, inclusive, and actively antiracist learning and working environment. We seek to be a community that empowers, listens to, and supports students, staff, and faculty members of color. And we challenge those in our community who identify as white to examine the racial history of our country and its continuing impact on each of our lives.

That’s why the forthcoming Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan presents us with the opportunity to innovate in response to the mass inequities and healthcare disparities laid bare by racially motivated violence and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Lutes, it is on each one of us to do the hard work to propel our country beyond its racist past and present. Black lives matter. We must keep one another safe from violence.

There is much work for us to do. At our university, in our communities, and in our world.

Sincerely,

Allan Belton Signature

Allan Belton
President

P.S. — This summer, our community members are also invited to join the PLU Common Reading group as we read The Hate U Give, an award-winning young-adult novel by Angie Thomas based on the police shooting of Oscar Grant in Oakland, California. More information will be available later this month.

Additionally, students, faculty and staff can seek ongoing support from the following resources:

Campus Ministry, 253-535-7464, cmin@plu.edu
LuteTelehealth, join us online at plu.edu/lute-telehealth
Diversity Center, 253-535-8750, dcenter@plu.edu
Employee Assistance Program, 1-800-777-4114