Message from the President: Thoughts on the tragic death of George Floyd
'We believe that Seminole State, as a community-based institution of learning, and every faculty member, staff member, and student can be a catalyst for change.'
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Written by: Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz
Dear Seminole State College Community,
Over the past several months many have used the words “unprecedented” and “novel” to describe our circumstances. Unfortunately, those same words cannot be applied to the tragic death of George Floyd and the national outrage over the racism, injustice, and inhumanity faced by African American citizens. The fact that peaceful protests and demonstrations have been co-opted by others who engage in criminal activity, destruction, and violence only cuts these wounds deeper.
Seminole State values equity, inclusion, and the diversity of our community. We articulate our institutional core value of respect as follows: “We embrace diversity, inclusion, and collaboration by respecting the unique qualities of individuals, treating each other with fairness and dignity.” In practice we enact this value by striving to move beyond simply a welcoming environment to one in which we embrace every student and employee as a critical and valued and exceptional member of our thriving academic community.
We believe that Seminole State, as a community-based institution of learning, and every faculty member, staff member, and student can be a catalyst for change. We work hard to empower each other to be that change and contribute to building a better society in which every person is valued and can excel.
Our hearts are broken. Our spirits are shattered. Many of us may feel deep anger and resentment, despair, helplessness, and fear. With many of the cautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic still in place, we may also feel very disconnected and isolated. I encourage all of us to call upon available resources to get the support we need. You are not alone. Students can take advantage of our free counseling services. We also offer an after-hours crisis hotline: 407.416.9976. Employees and members of their households can use the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). For many, turning to one’s spiritual beliefs or faith traditions provides much needed comfort and support. And please reach out to one another. While none of us has all the answers or can provide immediate relief right now, we can listen and care and share our own thoughts and feelings.
Under overwhelming circumstances such as those we face right now, I have often recalled the following quote from Helen Keller. I find that it both comforts and challenges me. She states, “I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
Georgia L. Lorenz
President, Seminole State College of Florida
Dr. Georgia L. Lorenz is the president of Seminole State College of Florida, a position she has occupied since August 2018. Passionate about open access and providing opportunities for all to a high quality, affordable college education, Dr. Lorenz previously served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Santa Monica College (SMC) in California. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Policy, Planning and Administration from USC and a Master of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University.