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Message from Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D., President

Message from Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D., President

The video of the wrongful death of Tyre Nichols is shocking to the conscience and very difficult to witness. While this story has been repeated too often between communities of color and some law enforcement, we must remember that this is why our voices must be heard at the ballot box. It is our responsibility to impact policies that affect our communities. Norfolk State has stood for eighty-eight years as a place to prepare our students to make their voices heard while here on campus and as graduates.  

Today is a day that we can use this footage like other events that galvanize our collective strength to make change. Violence and destruction do not honor Mr. Nichols’ life. Honoring him is finding ways to make the loss of his life, the last incidence of this type of interaction. In our own community, we lost Donovan Lynch in a police-related shooting. His family has shown us that the way to respond is through vigilant advocacy for change in policing strategies. The Lynch and Nichols family share a loss that no doubt is indescribable. We stand with them and pledge our support to end this violence and to seek a better day.  

NSU family, let us hold up the light of advocacy and ensure that we honor the sacrifice of these lives by being the best advocates we can be. Let us continue the example of the Norfolk State University Police and local law enforcement to build bridges of understanding and communication. We can be the example of what this relationship should be. I am grateful to each of you for your peaceful and thoughtful response to this tragedy. Our office of Student Affairs and Student Government Association are working with me to plan an opportunity for us to share our thoughts and respond to this matter as a family.  

Please remember that resources are available to you. The Counseling Center is available to provide emotional support to the campus community. Students have access to TimelyCare, a virtual mental health support platform that is available 24/7/365.  Contact the Counseling Center for scheduled appointments at 757-823-8173 and after hours at 757-823-9000, for immediate assistance.   

Residential and commuter students who are seeking places to reflect and discuss these events with Counseling Staff can do so tonight between 8 and 10 PM in Samuel Scott Hall, Room 103: Residential Complex East, Room 257; and Lee Smith, Room 136. Quiet/Meditation/Reflection spaces are available in Lee Smith, Room 136 and Residential Complex-East, Room 257. 

Staff and Faculty may contact Human Resources at 757-823-8160 to learn about available EAP resources. Any concerns about threats or other safety matters may be communicated to NSU Police at 757-823-8102 (Non-Emergency), 757-823-9000 (Emergency) or 757-823-2148 (Anonymous). 


Javaune Adams-Gaston, Ph.D.