Message from JWU Chancellor Runey & Campus Presidents Condemning Violence in D.C.

Story by JWU Media Relations , on Jan 7, 2021 1:32 PM


PROVIDENCE, R.I. — January 7, 2021 – In response to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, Johnson & Wales University Chancellor Mim L. Runey LP.D., joined with JWU’s four campus presidents,* Marie Bernardo-Sousa, LP.D., '92 (Providence); Larry A. Rice, Ed.D., '90 (North Miami); Richard Wiscott, Ph.D., (Denver); and Cheryl L. Richards, Ph.D., (Charlotte) to issue the following statement to the university community:

“Like many of you, we were shocked, angry, and heartbroken yesterday as we watched rioters descend upon the United States Capitol in Washington, DC.

“Within our own JWU community and across our nation, there will always be political disagreements, different viewpoints, and varied life experiences. That diversity in thought makes our community stronger and makes our nation more dynamic, but only if those differences are centered on mutual respect. Make no mistake: What we saw yesterday was not a political disagreement. We watched violent protesters attempt an insurrection to dismantle the democratic institutions that have successfully persevered for nearly two and a half centuries. What they did was terrifying and unacceptable.

“As we watched the news coverage of the attack on the U.S. Capitol, we each found ourselves thinking about how these recent months have been filled with one monumental, generation-altering challenge after another. As hard as it may be for some to be optimistic in the face of these challenges, we implore you to find threads of hope: 

  • In a response to the global pandemic, we’ve seen the best minds in the world defy the limitations of science to create a life-saving vaccine in record time. 

  • The tragic and unnecessary deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and too many other people of color inspired a new generation of leaders who are leading peaceful and impactful movements that are already bringing about change.

  • And last night, despite an attack on and affront to our cherished democratic institutions, the Republican and Democratic Members of Congress returned to the floors of the House and Senate to complete their solemn and ceremonial duty of affirming a transition of power.

“We remain deeply appreciative for everything our students, faculty, and staff have done to stay resilient through these challenges.

“Today is a new day and a new opportunity to come together. The sense of community and commitment to each other that we have among our Wildcat family can be an inspiration for the healing that our nation so badly needs.

“The events and unrest in Washington may be triggering and frightening for many in our community.  We encourage students seeking support to reach out to their campus counseling services office.”

*JWU’s North Miami and Denver campuses closed in Spring 2020; President Richards ended her tenure at the Charlotte Campus in mid-October 2021.