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Statement from Dean Linda McCauley

Media Contact

J. Michael Moore
Director of Communications

Dean Linda McCauley sent this letter to the nursing school community on June 1 in response to the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd—and the subsequent nationwide protests they have spurred.

Hello Everyone,

I’ve carried a heavy heart in recent days. Our troubles as a nation go well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. We face many old and reoccurring issues of racism and violence against people of color. We must always stand against such injustice.

I’m shocked by recent incidents resulting in the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Georgia resident Ahmaud Arbery. Events like these rightfully spark feelings of anger and grief. I ask all of you to join me in reflecting on how we can—peacefully—work to change views and promote equity and inclusion for all people.

Many leaders at the university penned similar messages of solidarity, including President Sterk and Jon Lewin, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs. I echo their sentiments. Violence against people of color and fierce rioting go against what we stand for as an institution.

The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is a vibrant and inclusive community committed to educating nurse leaders and scholars as diverse as the areas in which they live and serve. We take great pride in attracting and supporting diverse faculty, staff, and students who represent a broad range of experiences and viewpoints. We encourage each other and work hard to keep our environment free of discrimination. In times like these, we must work even harder to maintain dialogue and encourage productive conversations.

None of us are perfect but, each day we live, we can continue to grow in our understanding of the pain others are feeling and how best to show our empathy towards them. Particularly important today is to reach out to each other and talk with our colleagues about the world before us and how these events are shaping our perspectives of each other.

I’m always proud of our community for its devotion to equity, inclusion, and attention to health disparities around the world. We seek to be impact players in the area of social justice. It reaches to our core and is featured heavily in our mission, vision, values, strategic goals, and initiatives. We must remain steadfast in these efforts, remembering to always treat others with respect and dignity.

I am working with other leaders in the school to host a virtual community forum to discuss the issues at hand. More details to come. The university will host a Vigil of Solidarity this Friday, June 5, at 4 p.m. You can register for that event here:

As nurses, nurse educators, and people devoted to higher education and growth, we have a mission to uphold. Please, do not sit idle while our world is in pain. Encourage conversation. Bring attention to any injustice you encounter. Be an advocate for those with limited voice. Take action. Be leaders of change in a world that so desperately needs it.


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