An Important Message to the Massasoit Community
June 1, 2020 – I write today with a weary heart. On Friday, Massasoit marked what would have been the Class of 2020’s commencement exercises. Although we plan on celebrating an in-person ceremony in December, marking the day was important for our students and for our college as a whole. If you’re interested in the video we compiled for students, you may view it at this link.
Yet we marked our students’ joy amidst a background of national agony and sorrow.
The unconscionable death of George Floyd is, heartbreakingly, the most recent in a long list of incidents that follow the same script. Racism remains a systemic crisis in America and around the world.
We want to assure the college, our students and alums, and our community as a whole that we are doing all we can to help Massasoit cope with this very difficult issue. To acknowledge and recognize the pain, fear, and grief our community is feeling right now feels inadequate, but acknowledgement and admission is the first and most important step.
In her book So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo, who spoke at Massasoit in February, writes that, “When we identify where our privilege intersects with somebody else’s oppression, we’ll find our opportunities to make real change.” I cannot know the struggles our communities of color have felt. But I can commit to building a community that does not accept incidents of racism, that commits to open dialogue and opens the floor for difficult conversations, and that has equity and justice as the backbone of everything we do.
We commit to these values and ideals as a college, and to ensuring that dialogue is happening all around us. The only way forward is to learn from one another, to allow voices to be heard within our Massasoit community, to provide a safe and inclusive environment through our commitment to seek equity and justice through learning.
There is little comfort to be offered in times like these, and Ijeoma Oluo’s words again ring true: “Our humanity is worth a little discomfort – it’s actually worth a lot of discomfort.”
Gena Glickman, Ph.D.
Massasoit Community College