A Message from the President: Black Lives Matter


Office of the President

May 30, 2020

Dear all,

I hope you are doing well, all things considered, and that this message finds you in a state of mental and physical well-being. We are here for you and for our community. I write to you amid and acknowledging all the chaos in the world to stand in solidarity with the current demonstrations and protests occurring in Minnesota and across the country in response to the death of George Floyd and countless others.

Valley Scholars College Initiative, like so many others, works to lift up the voices of communities of color and many other historically marginalized communities. Our mission and values foster a sense of equity, inclusivity, empowerment, and transformation. Our programming is exclusively designed to address the needs and concerns of the communities we serve. We hope to continue this work as long and as fiercely as we can.

It pains me to see these types of headlines time and time again. It frustrates me to hear of continued, systemic injustice around the country. It angers me to see my fellow peers, friends, and community members targeted as they go about their daily lives.

As a Mexican-American myself, I am no stranger to the racism that pervades this country. I’ve heard the off-handed remarks. I’ve seen these repugnant behaviors. I’ve felt the pain that so many other humans feel. The war against black and brown bodies is not a new phenomenon; it has existed for hundreds of years in this country and is so deeply seeded in this society.

We must be better. We must do better. We must speak up. We must stand in solidarity with those who are thrown to the sidelines of our society and we must work each and every day to empower the voices of these individuals.

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. They are screaming, crying, pleading for us to listen. We must. We will.

In community,

Julián Aguilar