A Letter From the President: In Solidarity Against Hate and For Humanity

Dear MICA Community Members,

Our nation was shaken to the core this past week by a series of senseless crimes linked by hate. We shared in communal despair as we learned of these shocking events all within a few days – first, two African-American grandparents in Kentucky were murdered in a hate crime due to their race following the killer’s failed attempt to enter a black church; then the arrest of the sender of over a dozen mail bombs who was fueled by political rage; and finally the anti-Semitic hate crime in Pittsburgh where eleven members of the Tree of Life Congregation were murdered while attending services at their synagogue. Many of us are stunned by these acts of hatred and violence that are entirely against our beliefs as a people and a nation. We mourn the loss and our hearts reach out to all the affected families and communities.

We at MICA categorically oppose hate, intimidation, and efforts to diminish or negate the rights of one group by another. Our vision statement begins with “a just, sustainable, and joyful world,” and our tenets include that “we embrace differences and champion equity.” As a community we know that our differences make us stronger. We stand in solidarity with those who are made the objects of fear and discrimination, and we implore our public leaders to reject the rhetoric of divisiveness that feeds hatred.

Many of us are deeply affected by these atrocities. The safety of students, faculty, and staff includes emotional well-being. Please seek the support necessary for comfort and healing. Outside of appointments, the Student Counseling Center maintains a crisis drop-in hour from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. from Monday through Friday. Support for students is also available through the Center for Identity & Inclusion and the Office of Student Affairs. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to seek assistance from Human Resources or through the Employee Assistance Program.

There are two other opportunities for the MICA community to gather:

  • This Friday, November 2nd at 8:00 p.m., MICA’s Jewish Heritage Student Organization (Oy!) will be hosting a meeting in the Meyerhoff Dining Hall. All are welcome to talk about this week’s events, listen, or simply share space.
  • On Saturday, November 3rd, MICA will join in a nationwide effort to stand in solidarity with the Tree of Life Congregation. Those interested should meet in front of Founders Green at 9:45 a.m. to travel together to the Beth Am Synagogue. Participants can expect to return to campus by 1:00 p.m.

Now more than ever, it is critical for us to remember the hope and strength that are fundamental to the arts and to our mission as a college of art and design. Not only do we embrace the ideal of a world where everyone is valued and can thrive, we as a community believe in the power of artists, designers and educators to make the world we imagine. MICA is a close-knit community, deeply connected. In these difficult days, we need to share our compassion and support one another. Together we are always stronger – It is our humanity and our love for one another that will define us.

Samuel Hoi