Dear LSC Campus Community:
On January 7, 2020, a Memphis man named Tyre Nichols was violently beaten by five Memphis Police Department officers during a traffic stop that later resulted in his passing. The body camera footage of the incident was released to the public over the weekend. The images of the incident are painful and outrageous and will likely retraumatize many members of our campus community.
In recent years, similar incidents have arisen nationally and impacted our communities. We MUST be unafraid to name these acts of violence and actively oppose the systemic milieu of hated and oppression that is at the root cause of these devastating events.
Many of us experience a wide range of emotions and reactions: from anger to despair; from fear to hopelessness. While we process our emotions, it is critical that we help each other, support each other, and acknowledge those most closely affected by these incidents – our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color colleagues, friends, and family. To quote Chancellor Malhotra in a recent message: “We want our students, faculty, and staff – particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color – [to know] that we stand with them in solidarity and there are resources available to assist and support them as they work through this trauma.”
In the midst of these painful times, we must strengthen our commitment to effecting true change in our society. We must resolve to make deliberate efforts to ensure that our campus and local communities are safe, welcoming, and truly inclusive. We at Lake Superior College must recognize that our Equity 2030 work to create a safe, healthy, and inclusive environment where everyone can succeed is more vital now than ever.
One way to create a more welcoming and equitable campus community is to have time and space to work through our inner feelings and reactions. Please know that there are several avenues for this support: I encourage you to turn to your colleagues, friends, family, and spiritual practices for comfort and guidance. Students - please note that we have an on-campus Psychologist, Dean of Students, Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), and many other resources available for you. Please see the links below for more information. Employees may also consider contacting the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides free, confidential support for employees and their families at any time.
Resources for help:
- Mental Health Resources for Students
- 24/7 United Way Phone and Text Support for Students
- State of Minnesota Employee Assistance Program for Employees
Be well, be safe, and know we all stand together.