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Statement from President Gerard J. Rooney

September 6, 2020

Together, we have seen and heard about the weekend of unrest and division across Rochester and our community.

The death of Daniel Prude was tragic and shocking, as were the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many others. We extend our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Daniel Prude.

We say their names and stand in solidarity with those who fight for justice. We affirm that Black Lives Matter.

Daniel, like many others, suffered inhumane treatment and his death again brings to the surface the critical need for change in our criminal justice systems, health care, and education. At Fisher, we have a responsibility to be a part of the solution and remain committed to addressing issues of social justice.

Central to the College’s mission is fostering a community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who demonstrate civic responsibility, professional integrity, and value diversity and service to others. Moments like this are a time for self-reflection on how we can better instill those values in each other, heal as a community, and move forward together.

At our Fall Convocation for faculty and staff, we were able to revisit these issues with a raw and inspiring dialogue between two members of our campus community. They came from different backgrounds and offered different perspectives, yet both are advocates surrounding issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. It was an important dialogue to witness, and one that we will continue to engage.

To that end, I invite you to join me and members of the College’s Racial Equity and Justice Initiative (REJI) team at several upcoming events, as we continue our efforts to effect change and join those working toward justice.

Events this Week

Monday, Sept. 7:

4:30 p.m. - Fisher Community Silent Vigil for Daniel Prude on front lawn of Kearney Hall (wear mask & Fisher ID, maintain social distancing guidelines)

Tuesday, Sept. 8 & Wednesday, Sept. 9:

Participating in the National Teach-In through Fisher Open Classrooms (detailed schedule forthcoming)

Thursday, Sept. 10:

3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Open Panel Discussion with members of Fisher’s REJI Team (Racial Equity and Justice Initiative) on Zoom

4:30 p.m. - Fisher Community Stand-In for Justice on front lawn of Kearney Hall (wear mask & Fisher ID, maintain social distancing guidelines)

At Fisher, respect, open-mindedness, and integrity are of the utmost importance, and we pledge to continue to demonstrate our commitment to these values to all members of the greater Rochester community and our own campus. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a priority, and we will continue to do our part to foster meaningful change.

Kind regards,

Gerard J. Rooney, Ph.D.