Dear students, faculty and staff:
Last month, I reached out to you following the heinous shootings at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando to express our horror at the attack and our support for the LGBTQ, LatinX and Muslim communities. My prayer was that we would replace hate and violence with respect, care and love.
Now I am writing again following a week of more horror, beginning with the shootings by police and death of two African-American men, Philando Castile outside Minneapolis and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. This morning we woke up to the news from Dallas of the targeted shootings of multiple police officers, leaving five officers dead and injuring others during what had been a peaceful protest.
We at the University of Florida affirm our support and love for our African-American students, staff and faculty. We are also grateful to our University Police for their dedicated service and collaboration with local law enforcement agencies in protecting everyone in our community.
I continue to pray that racism and hate will be replaced in each of our hearts with love for all people, particularly those who are different from ourselves and those we find difficult to love. I hope that we can unite in rejecting racism and violence of all forms, embracing love, and creating a peaceful, accepting and respectful future.
With care and warmth,
W. Kent Fuchs
President, University of Florida