President Wooten: Reaffirming Our Values Post-Election
With the election behind us, we have an opportunity to reaffirm our values. I would encourage all of us to show everyday leadership by thinking about how, in our own unique ways, we not only begin to heal and unite our community, but create positive change.
This year has been a challenging time for many in our community due to the pain associated with the ongoing pandemic, continued acts of deeply troubling racism and injustice, and an election season that has been more divisive than any in recent memory. Although we now know who our next president will be, it will take some time to fully process the impact of this election and its outcomes for our families, university, state, and country. One fact we know for certain: this election was a historic one. Our nation has elected its first Black and South Asian American woman as vice president of the United States—a major milestone for women and women of color.
With the election behind us, we have an opportunity to reaffirm our values. I would encourage all of us to show everyday leadership by thinking about how, in our own unique ways, we not only begin to heal and unite our community, but create positive change. As we work toward our aspiration of becoming the most inclusive campus in New England, let us focus on Simmons’ core values of equity, inclusion, and social justice — which go hand in hand with learning, inquiry, and respecting differing ideas.
In addition, I want to reiterate that we all have voices that need to be heard — not just during an election season — but every day in our classes, workplaces, and homes. It is only by speaking out and then listening carefully that we will arrive at honest dialogue, mutual understanding, and ultimately a more equitable and inclusive community. We must be willing to hear another’s point of view and engage in a civil conversation, even if we disagree sharply.
In the spirit of our emphasis on wellbeing and learning for our community, here are two programming reminders:
- A post-election virtual event sponsored by Simmons Benefits to help our community manage digital fatigue and provide suggestions to unplug and rejuvenate.
- The Ifill Forum coming up this Saturday, November 14, at 3 pm. Directly following the Forum, I hope you can join us for our Simmons Community Reflection: From Conversation to Action. Please send your questions ahead of time to [email protected], and note that you need to register for both events.
At this moment, I especially appreciate your commitment to Simmons’ way of listening, learning, and engaging. Your passion, generosity, and kindness are qualities we can embrace and be proud of during these complex times. Thank you for moving us forward in the days and weeks to come.
President Lynn Perry Wooten