June 1, 2020
Dear Bronco Family,
The events of the past week have been very unsettling to all of us. The tragic death of George Floyd has sparked national protests, even in our city. We have witnessed peaceful demonstrations that have turned to violent outbursts of fires, looting, and destruction. These occurrences have affected our businesses, properties and brought about injuries.
As a mother of a young black male and two grandsons, Floyd's death has resonated with me personally, and my desire to protect children from real and present dangers in our society. The one thing that inspires me every day is my belief in higher education and its power to transform our nation.
A question that may be asked is, "What is the role of Fayetteville State University during these turbulent and uncertain times?" The very fact that this university was created after slavery to provide educational opportunities for young African American men and women speaks to change. For more than 153 years, FSU has addressed injustices during the Jim Crow era and during the Civil Rights Movement by educating young people who would change the trajectory of their families and communities locally, regionally, and nationally. Graduates of this institution have led in the fields of law, healthcare, business, education and more, in order to address inequities and promote social justice.
As we move forward, we must be open to dialogue about plans that can remove barriers that separate us as a people. We know that a house divided against itself cannot stand, and by working together we can build a stronger society. As a community of scholars, let us be open to dialogue that may seem uncomfortable at times, but is necessary for healing our nation. In the words of our Alma Mater, "Tho' seasons may roll and changes unfold...we pledge our hearts anew." Thus, let us work collectively to transform our young people through the power of education for the betterment of our society.
Peggy Valentine, Ed.D.