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Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs reflects on the tragic mass shooting that took place on May 14 in Buffalo, as well as on the issues and questions surrounding the hate-fueled atrocity. While he acknowledges that it is natural to look for answers and pose tough questions in the wake of tragedy, he urges everyone to use their energy to be part of the solution instead.
Our community suffered a horrific tragedy on May 14, when a white supremacist gunned down 13 individuals, killing 10 and injuring three, at the Tops Markets on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo. As Buffalo’s College, Medaille is here to support our students, faculty and staff, and our surrounding community, in the healing process during this difficult time.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs uses the example of the popular song to illustrate the suppression, discouragement and denial that exist in American society. Whether it is the “Don’t Say Gay” bill or the economic and social disparities that exist among minority-owned businesses, ignoring the inequities does not help but rather furthers the marginalization and suppression.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs shares why he was moved to tears during the confirmation of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. “As I tried to make meaning of this moment, I was struck by the profound lesson that began to crystalize in my mind,” he says. “Here is the lesson: the power of being seen — truly being seen by another human being — is life affirming. It is simultaneously a simple and weighty act to acknowledge someone’s humanity, and to recognize, honor and connect with another person to tell them that they are worthy.”
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs discusses the importance of a truthful portrayal of Black narratives and Black representation within our College community and within American society as a whole. He encourages us all not to shy away from uncomfortable conversations, which provide acknowledgment, understanding and growth toward a brighter future.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs acknowledges the difficulties and changes the higher education industry has faced over the last couple years. “If life has taught me anything, it is that change is unavoidable,” he says. “Things never stay the same forever, and that is OK. Be determined to face change optimistically, courageously and creatively. Together, we will move onward and upward to greater things.”
Medaille is excited to join the growing Erie County Anti-Stigma Coalition, an organization of local groups committed to ending the stigma surrounding mental health. As such, the College is asking students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends to take the Pledge to End Stigma.
In his latest article, Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs asks us all to challenge ourselves and our perspectives as this particularly tough year comes to a close. “In times like these, we need to think about how we can be better to and for each other,” he says. “After all, the energy that it takes to show love or hate is exactly the same, only completely different.”
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs reflects on how our shared humanity ought to compel us to be more conscious and intentional about how things are said and done. Incidents of racism can be reduced in frequency if we band together, fight injustice, redress wrongs, and address hard and heavy issues.
Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Kenya Hobbs reflects on the need to turn good intentions into good actions, and explains how this internal process of personal accountability should be intentionally permeated into all of our interactions and communications if we want to positively affect the community around us.