We believe in collaborative leadership that considers and values all the voices in our global community.
OPERATIONAL SUPPORT TEAM
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
A Message from the President
June 1, 2020
Dear VCFA Community,
On May 25th, we witnessed yet another senseless, unjust death of a black person at the hands of the police, the third in a series of senseless deaths over the last several months that have race and racism at their core. When we speak of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd, we are speaking not only of three individuals whose lives were snuffed out for no reason other than the color of their skin, but of a lethal sickness in our country that runs much deeper. It is a systemic ailment with implications that go beyond the criminal justice system. The recent events of the COVID pandemic alone show that our history of injustice has led to people of color bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and death as a result of COVID-19.
In response, protests have been reported in at least 75 cities across the county. People of all races are exercising their democratic right to protest and be heard. The ACLU is calling for an independent prosecutor to investigate George Floyd’s death. We can be hopeful that one outcome of these protests might be that people will no longer be able to turn their heads and ignore the gross injustices that give lie to the words written in our Constitution, that all this activity will move in the direction of real change.
And yet, our community is in pain with feelings that include anger, hurt, and desperation in wondering if the day will ever come when all Americans will have equal rights. My heart goes out especially to those in our community who have personally experienced the inequities and injustices in our society caused by racism and prejudice. We recognize and support the many artists and writers in our community of students, faculty, and alumnx who have been inspired to address issues of social justice through their craft and their teaching, as well.
We stand with you and with all those who fight for a better and more just world.
At VCFA, our mission reads in part: “We believe that the arts are central to the human experience and have the ability not only to reflect reality but also to create it.” Every time we enroll a student in one of our programs, we are helping them to develop their voice and their craft in order to tell their stories—stories that educate and inform and create the opportunity for empathic response, stories that can propel us to imagine and then act to create a different future. As a college, we are committed to continuing our own work around equity and inclusion so that we can better attract and serve people from all backgrounds and diverse life experiences, nurturing them in their artistic practice and, in doing so, helping to bring their crucial stories and perspectives into the world.
I believe it is our responsibility to continue to seek ways in which the college can increase our impact in supporting the intersection between art and social justice. The struggle for justice and equality will not go away when the protests die down. We will continue as an institution to ask the hard questions and work to expand our reach in developing artists and writers who can cross divides, bring increased empathy and understanding to our country, and help propel us to a more enlightened and equitable world.
With both sadness and hope,