Below is a letter sent from HPU President Nido Qubein to the HPU community.
Dear HPU Family:
I cried today.
I cried today for the pain of George Floyd and his family. And others before them.
I cried to hear of the pain expressed by those who genuinely seek justice, hoping for a better future and seeking a fair chance at a more productive tomorrow.
I cried as I watched and admired High Point citizens march across our city yesterday, peacefully and respectfully. They were an appreciated contrast to what we saw in some other locations.
On top of the fears created by COVID-19, our communities now deal with more pain. More tragedy. More suffering.
I couldn’t sleep last night, and I’m writing these words in the darkness of the morning hours. Praying to God for safety for all. Fairness to all. Cooperation and love for all.
I came to America from a part of the world that was constantly rapt with danger, and I sought the peace and freedom this country can offer. Yes, I acknowledge the pain many feel and the disappointment and discouragement that overcome many in our cities. And my heart breaks even more, lost between wrapping my arms around those less fortunate and praying for those who choose anger over faith.
We at High Point University are committed to being an institution focused on diversity and inclusivity and a place framed with love and unity. We are far from perfect and there is much we need to do. We stand with our brothers and sisters who, like me, watched the death of George Floyd and wept. How can this happen? Why does this happen? How do we ensure it doesn’t happen again?
HPU believes black lives matter. We are all created in the image of God Almighty. And we, of course, acknowledge our responsibility to build unity on campus and in our community. We are determined to do more, be more, serve more, and help more in every way we can. HPU students, we are here for you.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best: “The time is always right to do the right thing.” Or, as our own Board of Trustees chairman, Dr. Robert Brown, puts it: “You can’t go wrong doing what’s right.” Dr. Brown has been a leading voice and an influential steward in the civil rights movement. He advised U.S. presidents as he partnered with Dr. King and Nelson Mandela on their journeys to seek freedom and bring justice to all.
Yes, I cried this weekend realizing that as a blessed citizen of my city, state and country, I must step up and step out to be more engaged and be more invested in building a better future for young people and their mentors.
Together, we can do so much. My prayer is a simple one: “Guide us, Lord, to understand one another and to work together toward better days ahead.” We should. We must. With liberty and justice for all.
Dr. Nido R. Qubein
High Point University