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Tunxis Students,

I’m deeply disheartened that the unfair treatment of African Americans in the United States is still a local, national, and global issue we are facing in the year 2020. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others are reprehensible. As your college leader, it’s important for you to know that I stand with you and Tunxis employees, and remain united with you, as we navigate these difficult times. This is especially true for our African American students, faculty and staff at Tunxis Community College. Over the past several days, I have had lengthy conversations with black faculty and staff. They are angry, saddened, and grief stricken; however, they remain committed and vigilant in their hope to actively seek and bring about change beginning with our college community.

Since late May I’ve asked myself, as I’m sure many of you have, some very hard and personal questions, including: How can I contribute to the conversation and begin to effectively bring about the change our world needs? As a parent, an educator, and a leader in our community, I cannot, and will not, circumvent my responsibility to face and rectify racial bias. I firmly believe that there is no place for hatred or bigotry. And while I do not have all of the answers, I want you know that I am thinking about all of you, especially the black members of our campus community. As an institution of higher education that is committed to diversity and educating future generations, it is our responsibility to work toward the dismantling of racism, social injustice, and inequality.

If life has taught me anything, it is that the hardest conversations are often the most important ones to have. Now is the time we should start to discuss the topics that have contributed to such unrest in our country. Our college is committed to listening, learning, and encouraging others to highlight the voices of the black community. During the past week I have been working with Tunxis leadership, and engaged in valuable discussions with several faculty and staff, about how Tunxis can incorporate meaningful discussions and student forums on topics such as social justice, equal rights, and other topics impacting our campus culture. These conversations will take place and serve as an ideal starting point to examine our values, educate ourselves, and continue to work together and strategize on how to prevent racial hatred, discrimination and future unrest.

It is most certainly a time of turbulence. Headlines are unthinkable. Emotions are running high and the grieving has only just started. The pandemic has triggered numerous stressors, forced us indoors, and required us to think and conduct ourselves differently.

Despite our limited ability to see one another, today is the perfect time to exercise acceptance and look for meaningful ways to support and influence one another. We still have much learning and sharing to do. However, I remain hopeful that with enough time, reflection and respect, we can begin the healing process and move each other forward.

Dr. Darryl Reome

Tunxis Campus CEO

In the wake of COVID-19, and the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, there has been an increasing number of national news reports of stereotyping, harassment, bullying and violence directed at different ethnic groups. Please be reminded that we do not tolerate ethnic harassment or other forms of bullying at Tunxis. For more information, please see our Code of Student Conduct (PDF).

A message from CSCU President Mark Ojakian