Dear EIP Students, Families, and Friends,
In light of recent events such as the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the health and financial well-being of our communities, to the murders of unarmed African Americans, and most recently the brutal killing of Mr. George Floyd, I want to let all of our EIP families, students, and staff know that I have a profound appreciation for you all, your courage, and willingness to make sacrifices and take actions that make this world a better, safer, more equitable place. As we can all see, our nation is hurting. We have to deal with a sickness that has plagued this country from its inception – racism.
I want to speak specifically to our students here: Mason’s mission reads, “We are an inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world.” And I truly believe that you all, our future generation, offer a great deal of hope for our society. You hold the key to advancing this nation away from racism and toward change. Eric Hoffer says, “In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists.” We are not only witnessing a world that is screaming for change, we are seeing the change. You all are the “learners,” and you are coming of age in extraordinary times. I know you may feel uncertain about your future, but I must admit that you are a very special generation – a generation that has been chosen to reimagine and rebuild a world that is different, a world where your whole being is appreciated and your full humanity is recognized. If there was ever a time to focus on education, that time is now.
This year your Early Identification Program’s Summer Academy theme is “I-believe.” As Bryan Stevenson says, “Hope is our superpower,” and I personally will work to embody this belief to change conditions that lead to the devaluation of all life, especially Black and Brown lives. I believe that we are all blessed with the resolve and wisdom to navigate these turbulent times. I believe that we are able to see each other and recognize, embrace, and appreciate each other’s humanity. As we continue to strive for something better, please be reassured that the Early Identification Program is committed to your success and to the continued fight for racial justice.