I know that many of us woke up yesterday trying to process the outcome of the American presidential race, and you arrived to your campuses showing up as facilitators, listeners, and conveners, holding space for students as they struggled to make meaning of their feelings…fear, anger, sorrow, confusion. I also acknowledge that many of you are holding some of the same feelings. Many of the messages delivered throughout the presidential campaign were hateful, harmful, divisive. Regardless of how anyone voted, we are now navigating a new and unpredictable climate in our nation, and if we are to survive, it is imperative that we work together.
What is most salient for me is that our work as student affairs educators is needed…now more than ever. Those things we value - our students and their learning, diversity and multicultural competence, human dignity and respect, inclusion and equity, justice, advocacy, and action - remain our compass, and the work that we do…what we teach, is what will change the world. I truly believe this. And so I focus my attention on that light. And I believe in the power that is us… the interconnections among us, the importance of turning to one another to help and strengthen each other.
In this time where the issues and challenges of our world may feel overwhelming, and dis-empowering, I encourage you to focus your attention on the light. Take time to breathe and take of each other. Take care of yourself. And know that we will persevere through these challenges when we truly work together.
Donna A. Lee