The following was sent out from Dean Elmore to all faculty and staff on Monday, September 14, 2020:
Are we human beings who are in community, do we call to each other? Do we heed each other? Do we want to know each other?
-Poet Elizabeth Alexander
I appreciate the spirit of this place and want you to help bring it back.
In January, students, faculty, and staff came together to celebrate the opening of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. It was grand! We exchanged greetings, noshed, and listened to music and each other. Some of us teared-up, others of us danced. Goodwill and joy were the order of the day. I invite you to recreate that spirit.
How about another re-opening! Stop by – yes, come in – the Howard Thurman Center and show up as yourself and with your stories. And if you cannot stop in, check in with us virtually.
On Tuesday, September 15, participate in a live, online conversation, “While the World Watches: America’s Ongoing Racial Unrest.” This conversation will examine the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing in Alabama and its parallels to today’s racial unrest. The discussion will feature Andrea Taylor, Boston University’s senior diversity officer, and Rev. Dr. Carolyn McKinstry, author and Birmingham Bombing survivor. You’ll also meet Katherine Kennedy, director of the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. Come mix it up with us.
The timbre of the times – political and social rifts and all – calls for us to permeate the campuses with an ethos of common ground that is symbolic, organic, visible, comprehensive, communicative, and multi-local – the expansion of the Howard Thurman Center helps us to continue this work.
I hope to see you on the Common Ground,
Associate Provost and Dean of Students