It’s hard to digest all the news, but the elections are mostly behind us. The important question as to who will be president has been settled, but as the fog of that uncertainty has lifted, we must contend with all the other questions that remain. How will we find ways to come together to face the challenges ahead — epidemiological, environmental, social, political, economic? The list goes on and on, and if there is often strong disagreement as to how best to define these challenges, there is no disputing that we have our work to do. And that includes reckoning with our histories of injustice if we are to reinvigorate our aspirations for freedom, equality and justice.
Cynicism is easy, and sophisticated despair (often disguised with irony) is merely an admission of a lack of imagination and will. We need both imagination and will to work together to build a better future — for our campus, for our city, and for the country. There are already groups of students working with faculty and administrators on making Wesleyan a more equitable and inclusive place, and I am hopeful that we can build on that cooperation to continue to make meaningful civic contributions well beyond the borders of the university.
Listening with an open heart and an open mind will lead us to better ways of thinking and acting. Now, the next phase of the work begins.