Ashland University president Carlos Campo

Ashland University president Carlos Campo.

ASHLAND -- Ashland University President Carlos Campo has issued a statement about the death of George Floyd and the protests that have since ensued in communities across the United States. 

On Tuesday, Campo condemned the incident leading to Floyd's death and promised to work towards with other academic leaders at the local university to fight against racism. 

"Our Ashland University community has been shaken by the murder of George Floyd," Campo said. "The image of a white man in a position of authority with his knee on the neck of a black man pleading for his life has been seared into our minds and souls. We condemn it and the racism and hatred behind it.

"At these times, we look to AU’s core values to find a path forward through the darkness. Our accent on the individual requires our 'collective efforts to challenge and encourage' one another. And now we collectively challenge the scourge of racism in our culture."

In his letter to the Ashland community, he references a need to lead reform, instead of watching passively.

He quotes Pastor Steve Garnaas-Holmes, who said, “There is no standing by. Racism is a fire in the house: Either you are actively trying to put it out, or you are letting it burn.”

"As a university committed to justice, we will confront our biases and commit ourselves to ongoing education and action to bring about meaningful, lasting change. We will work with our academic and student affairs leadership to identify and promote a transformational educational experience that seeks to eradicate racial bias in every form," Campo said. 

He continued to say the Brethren-affiliated university also condemns the violence in our streets, but "we understand it."

"For too long, we have promised reforms as our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters die in our neighborhoods. For too long, we have permitted institutional prejudice and the open mistreatment of people of color. For too long, we have denied opportunity simply on the basis of race. We know that the sword of hatred must be beaten into the ploughshare of peace," Campo said. 

He reminded the university students, faculty and staff of the following resources. He encouraged contacting Dr. Oscar McKnight for Counseling Services at 419-289-5307 or omcknigh@ashland.edu or Dr. Yvonne Glass at the Smetzer Counseling Center at yglass@ashland.edu.

"And to the family of George Floyd, we pray that God will sustain you in the unspeakable pain you now endure," Campo said. "May his legacy be that no other family suffer as you have and may the date of his memorial serve as a moral landmark of permanent change demanded by each of us." 

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