Standing in solidarity

President Don O'Shea shakes hands with Miles Iton ’14 during New College’s commencement rehearsal in 2018
President Don O’Shea shakes hands with Miles Iton ’14 during New College’s commencement rehearsal in 2018

This country was founded on an idea: that all persons are created equal. We believe that, and we believe in America’s promise.

We join in the anger and frustration of being a part of a society that loudly celebrates equality, yet tolerates oppression and injustice—whether it be the violent death of yet another unarmed black man, George Floyd, or the absence of access to health care or quality education because of skin color or economic class.

We stand in solidarity with our country’s brown and black and other marginalized persons and communities. We will work together to make a better, more culturally and socially inclusive community here at New College, and in our state and nation.

We believe in the power of knowledge and ideas to change our world: in the natural and mathematical sciences to extend our reach and to fight disease; in the social sciences to examine and better our institutions; and in the humanities and arts to help us understand one another and the human condition. We also believe in speaking out.

This pandemic and its disproportionate effect on our black and brown brothers and sisters have exposed the results of our legacy of racism and the cracks in our society. To borrow the words of Bob Dylan’s Canadian counterpart, the late Leonard Cohen, we can make sure that those cracks let the light get in.

We look forward to forging brighter days together.

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