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June 4, 2020

I hope you are staying safe and doing well during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am writing to discuss the current protests that are gripping our nation. Watching the death of Mr. George Floyd was one of the most difficult videotapes I have ever seen. I am sure that you were also deeply disturbed by this videotape, as well.

What we know is Mr. Floyd lost his life in the most terrifying and horrific manner at the hands of four police officers in one of America’s largest cities. During the past week, people of conscious throughout this country have joined together to demand real and lasting change regarding how our country police its communities. This demand for change has touched over 130 cities in America and this movement remains strong through this second week protests. As a community, we join in solidarity with these voices for change. We celebrate the peaceful marches that demand equality of policing in communities of color. Lastly, we stand with these peaceful protesters as this fight for social justice continues to span across America, touching the shores of many European nations and countries finding a voice in countries around the world.

From its initial founding, University of the Potomac has always been a school that not only communicates a message of valuing diversity, we take great pride in our insistence that all people are treated with respect. Potomac has always demonstrated that diversity is the core fabric that we wear on a daily basis. This is demonstrated in every aspect of the University and indeed every corner of our institution. We are a community of rich diversity that includes our employees and faculty who dedicate their daily lives to upholding the values of treating all people with the highest levels of human dignity and respect. It continues with our students who are a diverse group American citizens and students from around the world that have adopted this country as their own while completing their education at Potomac. This diversity is what makes Potomac great and it is also a significant reason why the death of Mr. Floyd was so disheartening and disturbing to our community.

 

The fight for real justice, fairness and equity has always been and will continue to be a central part of Potomac’s mission and our individual and collective Potomac experience. As a University, we will continue to seek and demand that all members of our diverse society are afforded the most basic rights that start with being treated as a dignified human being. This is the focus of these peaceful protests and University of the Potomac joins this chorus of voices in demanding real and lasting change.

 

As you too engage in appropriate civil discourse in your community, we encourage you to voice your demands in a civil and peaceful manner.

 

Sincerely yours,

Clinton D. Gardner, Ph.D. Interim President

 

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