NCCC Observes A Moment of Silence
NCCC is committed to the ideals of equity, diversity, and inclusion both on and off our campuses. We support the pursuits of individuals who strive to better themselves through education, and in so doing, strive to better the communities in which they reside. As our Mission states, “Through the liberal arts and sciences as a key component of all academic programs, our College nurtures and empowers students to recognize and to value our common humanity as well as the richness of our diversity.” Recent increases in racist incidences across the nation alert all of us to consider how we can make real our commitment to our mission statement. While there are many incidents to focus on, we should take a moment to consider racism affecting the Asian-American Pacific Island (AAPI) community.
The mass murder of AAPI community members in Atlanta, GA, is a horrific reminder that not everyone strives toward the same ideals we hold dear. As an institution of higher learning, we recognize that history has always been riddled with dissenters from the most positive paths forward, in many different ways. Innovators like Chen Ning Yang and Tsung Dao Lee, the 1957 Nobel Prize-winning Physicists, inspire us with revolutionary theory that indeed forced the scientific world to rethink the principles thought to unify the physical universe. Or Patsy Takemoto Mink, who was the first non-white woman to be elected to congress in 1965 (Hawaii), bravely blazing a trail that has been followed by many strong women since, and surely will be going forward. These are role models we wish to emulate, these are paths to the brightest future for all. As such, we embrace all members of the AAPI community in this challenging time, and stand steadfast against hate and discrimination in all its manifestations.
Racism is born out of fear and ignorance. As an example, viruses do not originate from, nor are they spread by, specific racial or ethnic groups, and any such misconceptions should be challenged by rationally thinking members of our community. In these times of frustration and confusion, we at NCCC urge individuals to resist the temptation to blindly follow members of social media, or even your direct social circles, that might suggest otherwise. Prejudicial bias, and resulting harm, are never the answer to perceived obstacles to our “normal” daily living. Rather, we believe that everyone experiences challenges, and everyone is aided when we band together as human beings to work to overcome them.
Perhaps we could join together, in honor of those lost, and observe a moment of silence in reverence and solidarity. During that moment of silence, you might consider what you can do to help our community move towards that positive, peaceful path in the near future. To see all members of our society as potential partners, and act in a manner that honors the inherent greatness in all of us.
John D Strong
Chief Diversity and Equity Officer
Niagara County Community College