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President Belton’s Statement on Charlottesville

President Belton’s Statement on Charlottesville

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PLU students stand in solidarity

Image: PLU students stand in solidarity with students of color, undocumented students, Muslim students, LGBTQ students, and other people who experience marginalized identities. (PLU/John Froschauer)

August 15, 2017

Dear Campus Community:

The news from Charlottesville, Virginia over the past few days has shocked, angered and saddened many of us. Our prayers are with the victims of violence, their families, and other loved ones. White supremacists’ display of racism, anti-Semitism and raw hatred is antithetical to what this nation and the PLU community stands for.  PLU’s mission calls us to care for others, for their communities and for the Earth, and we remain resolute in our commitment to address bigotry whenever and wherever it arises on our campus and within our communities.

I caution against generalizations and judgement of those with whom we may disagree; that kind of thinking and resulting behavior fosters estrangement rather than connection, and it ignores the complexity of every person.  We must be aware of systemic injustice and inequity, while also welcoming open and honest dialogue to bridge our divides.  To that end, we invite all community members to an open session to discuss the impact of Charlottesville on Thursday, August 17 from 12-1pm in the AUC Atrium.  I look forward to seeing you there.

PLU is a better place because of our diversity and because we value the critical examination of all viewpoints, as long as they are delivered in a respectful and thoughtful manner.  Hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated.

In the days ahead, may we all be proactive in supporting those who may be the target of hatred and violence, reflect upon our own propensity for judgement, and challenge ourselves to come together as a community united in care.

Because the world needs more Lutes.
President Allan Belton's signature

PLU offers a selection of Fall 2017 courses across disciplines that explore issues of diversity and inclusion in modern and historical contexts.  We  encourage students to review these courses, available at and find learning opportunities that fit your academic goals.  And if there are other courses that should be added to this list, please drop a note to