Keep Moving Forward: An Open Letter to the Campus Community

Radford University An Open Letter to the Campus Community from President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.

Dear Radford Family:

On May 25, 2020, our world changed. Without question, the death of George Floyd has shaken our nation and created many questions that remain unanswered. Many individuals are attempting to understand this senseless loss of life.

My message to the Radford family and others is simple. You are not alone. Together, as a nation, we are trying to sort through our emotions and thoughts, as well as the known and unknown, and attempting to make sense of our current chaos and growing uncertainty. I encourage you to learn and push yourself to become aware of the issues, listen to the experience of all citizens of this great nation, and diligently work to improve society.

Clemson University President James P. Clements, Ph.D., a dear friend and respected colleague, recently said, “Let there be no doubt, we as a society must do better. Racism, injustice, and hatred cannot be tolerated. We can, and must, do better.” Jim and so many others, who have stepped forward, are right. Our nation needs more love and less hate. Our fellow Americans, old and young alike, need more hope and less fear.

These steps are necessary in order for our society, both individually and collectively, to move forward. We must keep moving forward. My hope is that my children and all children can and will live in a world built upon not only recognizing, but appreciating the differences of others. At the same time, we must live in a world in which individuals are held accountable for their actions and responsible for their words.

People of all ages and races deserve the right to live their lives without fear of what may happen and anger of what has happened. The need is clear. And, the time is now. That process starts today with each of us.

I ask that you join me in recommitting yourself, your actions, and your thoughts to love and hope, as well as acceptance and understanding. Change for a better tomorrow for our society and a deserving opportunity for all people must begin immediately!

Keep Moving Forward,

Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D.