Dear Gannon students, colleagues, alumni, friends and family,
Our community’s sorrow will last far longer than what it will take to replace the broken windows and clean the streets from last night’s protests and unrest, all of which happened adjacent to our campus in Erie.
A peaceful demonstration turned violent after dark, lasting late into the night. No one was reported to have been injured, thankfully, as hundreds of protestors voiced their strongly held concerns and some individuals clashed with police and vandalized properties along State Street.
The effect this incident has on our psyche – on top of the stresses of a pandemic and widespread personal and economic distress – falls heavily upon us this morning.
We, too, stand against racial injustice – and we will do our part in the weeks and months ahead to join in the dialogue on the issues at the root of yesterday’s violence. We will continue to work tirelessly in our city’s neighborhoods alongside our neighbors to facilitate the change we all want and desperately need to see in our society.
We also believe in respectful communication. There is no place for destruction of property and violence as vehicles to voice our concerns and to elicit change. We appreciate that our campus was spared any of the damage and vandalism, and we will seek opportunities to help others repair or rebuild.
We are saddened this morning that honest expressions of frustration and legitimate discontent devolved into something else. Nonetheless, we must renew our resolve to be a part of the solution for Erie and for our neighbors. As we continue our journey to develop our students and ourselves as socially responsible, global citizens, we are reminded that we have much farther to go on this journey. I look forward to walking the path together in solidarity, with conviction, faith and hope.
Peace be with us all,
Dr. Keith Taylor, Ph.D.,