Office of the President: Thoughts for the MCAD Community on the George Floyd Tragedy
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Dear MCAD Community,

Like all of you, I am deeply disturbed by the tragic death of George Floyd on Monday. As a person of color and as a parent, it is hard for me not to feel deep anguish and alarm at these events. While I unequivocally support that justice must be served for George Floyd and his family, justice and equity was something owed to him and his family a long time ago–well before the moment of his passing. This incident further amplifies the challenges that communities of color face on a daily basis in this country–socially, culturally, educationally, judicially, medically, and economically. 

I am sick and tired of yet another situation where we are forced to bear witness to the senseless death of yet another person of color. However, when I am able to move past the feeling of exhaustion that comes with this type of mourning, I move into the terrain of hope. I have a fundamental belief that we can make this world a better place for all of us. This is not a passive or blind form of hope; it is a hope that comes with effort, with articulation, with collaboration, with creativity, and with the knowledge that the world needs to operate in a dramatically different way.

As we grieve for the trauma that this event has inflicted on our broader community, I take great heart in knowing that MCAD is dedicated to providing an environment for all of our students to thrive, to innovate, to fail, to transform, to connect, and most importantly to hone and articulate a creative voice. MCAD is a community that disavows violence in all of its forms and celebrates creativity. 

At MCAD we are committed to educating the next generation of cultural leaders. In addition to wanting our students to become experts in diverse creative fields, we give them the tools to address some of the most pressing issues of our time in ways that combine the values of creativity, innovation, and empathy. If these events over the past few days have shown us anything, it is that we need cultural leaders now more than ever before. 

We will continue this work together. We will work to support our broader communities, hold space with them as we grieve, create a platform for the important anti-racism and anti-oppression work within our college, and affirm a community-wide commitment that favors mentorship, knowledge-building, and a fundamental belief that the greatest strength of our community is through its social, economic, and cultural diversity.

Many members of our MCAD community have produced work that speaks powerfully to these traumas and inequities. Over the weeks ahead we will illuminate this work on our media platforms to encourage much needed dialogue on how to heal and build a more equitable world.

All my best,

Sanjit