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January 30, 2023: To the Whitman Community - On Memphis

Email from President Sarah Bolton to the Whitman campus community:

Dear Whitman Community,

Late last week, many became aware of the horrific video which shows the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by police officers in Memphis, Tennessee. The terrible violence which took Tyre's life is heartbreaking and infuriating. For many, it is also terrifying. It is part of a relentless sequence of acts of inhumane violence against Black people.

Black lives matter. We urgently need a society in which everyone fully enjoys the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Far too often, these rights - to move safely in community and to fully experience freedom - are taken from Black people and other communities of color through acts of violence and systems of oppression.

As we begin the week, my thanks go to all who held space for conversation, care and support this weekend and who are continuing to do so. At Whitman, we will keep working to make our own community a truly antiracist one, where all belong and all feel true safety and deep welcome. And we will continue our mission of teaching and learning so that all of us can become agents of change toward a more just society. My gratitude to each of you working to enact that change - urgently, relentlessly, and together.


Sarah Bolton

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