From the President, re. Holding tight to our Values

Thursday, January 7, 2021


Dear Southern community,

Yesterday’s shocking events at the U.S. Capitol, were an appalling and unnerving assault on many of the democratic values that we hold dear as a nation. No matter what our political allegiances or individual beliefs, resorting to violence and insurrection to prevent a peaceful transition of government has no place in our society. 

At a diverse, public institution like Southern, committed as we are to the pursuit of social justice, this is once again a time to reassert ourselves as a caring, accepting community. We must uphold truth, we must stand against hate and we must ensure that all people are seen and all voices are heard.

For too long now, our society has been torn by divisiveness, anger and racial injustice. With yesterday’s mob violence, broadcast glaringly around the world, we have seen how deeply our nation has been challenged by words that divide instead of heal.

As we venture into 2021, let us seize the opportunity to move forward with hope, civility and compassion, challenging injustice and taking action. By doing so, and understanding our essential roles in education, we will set an example for others to follow.


Joe Bertolino