Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) joins the list of Black organizations, communities and businesses that are recognizing the state of our country following the murder of George Floyd, and doing something about it. President Ruth J. Simmons announced she was closing the university for a day and designating it as ‘A Day of Reflection for PVAMU.’ Simmons penned a letter to the panther community:
Acknowledging the anguish that recent events have caused, I am designating Monday, June 8, 2020, as A Day of Reflection for Prairie View A&M University. The campus will be closed on that day. In addition, we will gather in Panther Stadium at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, June 9, 2020, for a silent vigil honoring the life of George Floyd.
I call on all members of the extended Prairie View family to use these opportunities to consider how each of us can make a positive difference in our communities. Take this moment to reflect not only on the need for change in how people are treated but also what affirmative role each of us can play to ensure that our children and grandchildren will not be further victimized because of the color of their skin, their religion, their sexual orientation or preference, their economic status or their national origin. Eradicating the scourge of bias and discrimination and achieving a wholly inclusive and just society must be our ultimate goal.
I do not expect one day of reflection or a vigil to solve the persistent ill of disparate and unjust treatment in our country. To achieve such a result will take a more significant investment of time, treasure, and determination. I have outlined a possible plan of engagement for the university and will share more information about how we will advance that plan in the coming weeks and months. Still, each of us must formulate our own plan of engagement. How can we use the specific and unique talents given us to advance the cause of justice? How can we assure that, over time, our commitment to that goal will not lessen even in the face of persistent challenges?
Many of you have called to volunteer in our efforts to seek justice for those whose lives have been ended or traumatized by the criminal justice system. The unwavering support of the Prairie View A&M University community has been overwhelming and inspirational and I thank you humbly for coming forward and committing your voice to this urgent cause.