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Emory president issues statement regarding Charlottesville

Editor's note: Emory University President Claire E. Sterk sent the following message to the Emory community via email on Aug. 14, 2017.

Dear members of the Emory community: 

The recent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, serve as a stark reminder that although we have made tremendous advances in civil and human rights, we have work to do. We are fortunate to live in Atlanta: the heart of the civil rights movement.  With great privilege comes responsibility.  Now is the time for speaking the truth.

Emory’s core values call us to be champions of equality, inclusion, and the pursuit of knowledge. I stand committed to our values and am proud that Emory strives to be a place where people can hold difficult conversations respectfully. But let me be clear: supremacist groups are not engaged in the difficult work of informed civil discourse. Theirs is a different project. These groups seek to undermine the fabric of civil society through ignorance, fear, and violence. Their actions stand in contrast to everything we strive for as members of an academic community committed to the discovery and application of knowledge for the greater good.

I believe that education still matters. I believe that the liberal arts, the sciences, and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake still form the foundation of civil discourse in this society. Supremacist ideology does not, and will not, have a seat at Emory University’s table. 

As president of Emory University, I am proud of the courage shown by those who stand for our shared values.

Thank you.

Claire E. Sterk


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