Statement from President Jackson and Senior Staff to the Nashville State Community on Recent Events

To the Nashville State Community,

From the March 3rd tornado, to an ongoing global pandemic, and a derecho during the week of Spring semester finals, 2020 has been a very challenging year for our Nashville State community. Our college and every constituency and community we serve has been impacted by these difficult and devastating events. Then on May 25th, George Floyd was killed at the knee of a police officer. A bystander captured video as Mr.Floyd pleaded for his life and took his last breath. His tragic and inexcusable death has rightfully drawn immense attention to ongoing injustices and inequities that are impacting far too many people in communities across the country, particularly African Americans.

As the most diverse community college in Tennessee, we have a great responsibility to all our students, staff, faculty and communities to provide a safe and welcoming environment especially for people of color who bear the weight of racial discrimination. Nashville State must Move Forward by continuing to be a leader in solving the problems that our larger communities face and a catalyst through education to improve social and economic mobility for those marginalized due to systemic and structural inequities.

At the core of Nashville State’s mission is service to our students and communities as they seek to transform and improve the quality of their lives. While we have no doubt our neighborhoods will rebuild and the economy will re-open after enduring terrible loss, how do we Move Forward to address the persistent racial injustice and inequity which continues to tear at our communities? Our values as an institution of higher education require us to examine and re-examine our curricula, our services, our activities and ourselves to ensure that we are providing equitable access to education and eliminating barriers to student success.

We know many of our Nashville State faculty, staff and students are hurting, frustrated and afraid. Our face-to-face interactions may be limited because of the pandemic but we must not waste this opportunity to truly listen, communicate, support each other and act to be the change we want to occur. We must Move Forward as an institution to address injustice and inequity within our system and communities. Today, we as a senior leadership team affirm our commitment to the work this will require. Together, we can ensure our college is removing barriers and eliminating equity gaps for students to succeed and providing an inclusive safe environment for faculty and staff to thrive.

Sincerely,

Dr. Shanna. L. Jackson, President

Ms. Mary Cross, Vice President Finance and Administrative Services

Ms. Ginger Hausser, Vice President Economic and Community Development

Dr. Carol Martin-Osorio, Vice President Student Affairs and Enrollment Management