‘Our individual differences should never divide us’: Nicholls President, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer release joint statement on Racism, Discrimination and More

Nicholls State University strongly condemns all acts of racism, discrimination and hatred, including racially motivated profiling, violence, excessive force and any other prohibited acts. Our Policy Prohibiting Workplace Discrimination, Harassment, & Retaliation mandates an environment free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation against applicants, employees, students, vendors, and visitors of Nicholls State University.

As we have become painfully aware, the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen particularly hard on people of color. If this disproportionate burden of illness and death is not enough of a tragedy, people of color face unnecessary inequalities that have resulted in senseless deaths, too often in the custody of authorities sworn to protect and serve us all.

Nicholls is home to faculty, staff and students that are representative of countless differences.  Our individual differences should never divide us, but instead bring us together as we find value in the greater good. It is these differences that we celebrate, as our differences are the individual pieces that are woven together into the fabric of our great University.



Frustrations with the persistence of injustice are understandable, but the response to apparent wrongs should not emulate these wrongs. We must follow due process, the fair treatment based upon established rules. We should all remain united in the desire for justice, an inalienable right which cannot be taken or given away. The U.S. Constitution recognized certain universal rights that are naturally given to every individual at birth, and that these rights are retained throughout life.

As members of the Nicholls community, we have a responsibility to interact and communicate with others in a respectful and civil manner. We should all remain vigilant, but we should not be vigilantes. We should exercise our rights as law-abiding citizens and insist upon a reliable system of justice. In neither word nor deed should it be suggested that the remedy to acts of injustice are outside of the justice system.

Conversations around race and other social constructs are understandably difficult to have. However, through collaboration and listening upon a solid foundation of mutual respect, we will continue to engage the campus community until we get to a place where we are comfortable having an uncomfortable conversation.



We hear the concerns, we understand the challenges, we acknowledge the frustrations, and we stand united to engage in a healthy dialogue around change.

Sincerely,

Steven H. Kenney, Jr.
AVP for Human Resources / Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer
Jay Clune, President

Nicholls State University