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Statement from the President

“What am I supposed to do?” is the painful refrain spoken by families grieving over the tragic loss of their loved ones. Ten vibrant and important African Americans were tragically executed in yet another unthinkable atrocity and another three wounded by the hateful behavior of an 18-year-old white male.

The domestic terrorism enacted upon defenseless citizens in Buffalo, NY, last weekend is just another chapter in a long history of acts of terror against Black citizens that have plagued the fabric of our society. We demand that all in our community are always protected from domestic terrorism. Whether we are in the grocery store, at church, or trying to stay fit by exercising, targeted domestic acts of terrorism must end now. We cannot wait until another HBCU racist bomb threat, already four to date at Norfolk State University, creates further turmoil meant to disrupt and distress our people and our institutions.

“What am I supposed to do?” must turn into “What WILL I do?” as the refrain of every American and everyone around the world. These acts of terrorism are not local to one institution or one part of the society ‒ they are global and pandemic. We cannot allow hatred to run unabated in our communities.

When does this pandemic of hatred and racism end? When we each take responsibility for dismantling racism and the ways that racism has been institutionalized. When we, as a nation, bring immediate resources to abate these situations. When we ensure full and equitable accountability for these targeted acts of violence.  

We must continue our commitment to make the world a better place. Our commitment at Norfolk State is to create and maintain a culture of care for each and every member of our great university and the community that supports us. These acts of violence, while all too common, must not become the reflection of the values of our nation. Now more than ever, we need to nurture and foster a positive environment for all.

We will continue to be resilient in our efforts to protect the NSU community and foster the learning and ingenuity that comes from our 86-year institution.

President Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D. (Dr J)
Norfolk State University