From the desk of Alumni Relations Executive Director Meredith Gurley Johnson:
I write today to share in the grief and frustration of continued racial discrimination and injustice in our country. My heart aches for the countless African American victims of violence and for their loved ones. The UGA Alumni Association exists to bring together Bulldogs–from all walks of life, cultures and beliefs–year-round, worldwide and lifelong. This moment calls for us to come together. We are taking this week to pause, listen and reflect on ways we can strengthen the bonds between our alumni. The Bulldog spirit is stronger because of our diversity and as one powerful voice, we can overcome today’s circumstances. Together, we can build a better world and move forward. We are UGA Alumni, and we Never Bark Alone.
Our Black Alumni Leadership Council president, Ericka Davis, shared a heartfelt message earlier this week, and it eloquently expresses what we’re feeling.
Meredith Gurley Johnson (BSFCS ’00, MED ’16)
Executive Director, Alumni Relations
University of Georgia
From the desk of Black Alumni Leadership Council President Ericka Davis:
These are unprecedented times in our country right now. The recent tragic, violent and inhumane deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor has shocked, angered and hurt us to our core. It has left many of us feeling helpless and powerless as we cry out and steadily wait for the wheels of justice to turn. But that doesn’t mean that we are helpless or powerless.
As protests take place around the country, this is an opportunity to stand in solidarity with those who peacefully advocate for justice, one of the pillars of the Arch. We can support programs and initiatives that uphold the tenets of our best and defining historical legacy of nonviolent social change exhibited by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Hamilton Holmes and Mary Frances Early. We can advocate for public policies that will truly create that “more perfect union” we all strive for.
Part of our motto is to serve and inquire into the nature of things so it is incumbent upon us to take that charge and find better solutions to address equity and inclusion for current and future generations to come both on and off campus. Never has there been a more critical time than this to affirm and support each other, students and alumni alike through both words and actions that express our humanity, compassion, understanding and empathy.
You are not alone. You do matter. Your value is immeasurable and your contribution can never be diminished.
Stay safe, stand for what is right and never lose hope.
Ericka Davis (AB ’93)
President, Black Alumni Leadership Council
University of Georgia