Dear Montevallo Family,
Today, I write to you with a heavy heart, discouraged beyond measure over the senseless death of George Floyd– the latest tragedy in a long-standing and unfortunate history of racial injustice in our country.
The University of Montevallo has a lengthy and proud history of acceptance, inclusion and unity and we actively work every day to dismantle the barriers of inequality in our community and across the nation. We are an institution where all ideas are welcome and disparate viewpoints encouraged, unless hurtful or extreme.
We condemn violence in any of its manifestations.
Now is our time to stand together as a University family against racism and violence toward people of color. In the coming weeks I will meet with student, faculty, staff and volunteer board leaders to determine how the University family can engage to the fullest extent possible in the struggle to overcome discrimination and prejudice.
When we say “You Belong at Montevallo,” it’s not just an empty slogan. Each and every member of the Montevallo family possesses a deep conviction to provide a better future for students from all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We reject the kind of hate that led to the killing of George Floyd and so many other Black men and women in America. This absolutely must come to an end and we are all called to do our part.
I believe with all my heart that education is our greatest hope for a more peaceful, harmonious country. Our students, children and grandchildren deserve our best selves at this crucial moment in history-our better angels must prevail.
John Wesley Stewart III