St. Lawrence University president issues joint statement to support Black Lives Matter

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St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox (St. Lawrence University)

CANTON, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence University President William L. Fox issued a joint statement in support of the Black Lives Matter Resolutions recently adopted by the Town and Village Boards of Canton and Potsdam.

His statement read as followed:

“The leadership of the Towns and Villages of Canton and Potsdam have stepped up to officially and publicly recognize that Black Lives Matter in our communities. As the Presidents of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley – Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Canton, and SUNY Potsdam – we support and affirm this recognition. We are committed to building campuses and communities that allow Black people and other People of Color to thrive.

We want to share with you some of the collaborations that have formed in the North Country to promote the safety and well-being of all our students, employees and community members. The Associated Colleges are working with many community partners, including municipalities, law enforcement agencies, the Chambers of Commerce, and local businesses, to actively combat systemic racism and racial discrimination in our communities.

Members of our collective campus communities have been leaders in the peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstrations and in other social justice movements, such as the North Country Poor People’s Campaign, here in St. Lawrence County. Thousands of local residents—including municipal leaders and law enforcement officers marching in solidarity—have taken part in peaceful demonstrations to protest injustice. We are proud of our faculty, staff, alumni and especially our students—many of whom are active in their home communities as well—for engaging one another in civil civic discourse as we confront systemic racism locally and nationally.

Just as we are all members of our campus communities, we are likewise members of the Canton and Potsdam communities.  The Town Councils and Village Boards of Trustees of Canton and Potsdam share these values and have affirmed them through the unanimous adoption of Resolutions stating unequivocally that Black Lives Matter.

These Resolutions, now a part of the municipal records, speak to the systemic and disproportionate discrimination against Black people in our nation.  They recognize that People of Color experience incidents of individual and systemic racism in the North Country.  They express a shared commitment to Equal Justice under the Law, and to making our communities welcoming, inclusive, and safe for their citizens, particularly People of Color and other minority groups.  They note the peaceful protests and marches of thousands of local residents in Potsdam and Canton, protesting the deaths of George Floyd, Treyanna Summerville, Breonna Taylor, and others, and supporting Black Lives Matter marches and protests in which local law enforcement and municipal and campus leadership took part.”

The statement as issued on behalf of the Associated Colleges of the St. Lawrence Valley is an independent not-for-profit educational consortium with four members: Clarkson University, SUNY Canton, SUNY Potsdam and St. Lawrence University. 

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