President Brown on the Events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6

To the FIT community,

This week we watched a pivotal moment in the history of our country unfold in front of our eyes. Together we witnessed a wrenching attack on one of the more sacred symbols of American democracy. With reckless disregard, lives were lost and principles were abandoned. Given our history, it was less surprising than it was devastating. Perhaps that is because we have not mastered the ability to exercise civility and respect in our disagreements and have seemingly sacrificed our belief in the authenticity and fundamental righteousness of the voice of “we the people”—all of the people.

Everyone has a right to have their voice heard. No one has a right to limit that voice or take hostage those who hold a different point of view. The mob tactics used by those faced with losing some privilege may hold a lesson for those of us who stand in shock and judgment of their acts.

There is value in listening and learning and determining a path forward forged with respect for each other, the inclusion of differing points of view and a deep and abiding respect for all of humanity. The picture of less than that was ugly indeed.

Our democracy is fragile. We must defend and protect it, and the lesson thus reinforced is that the same holds true for our community. Like our community, this country continues to be a work in progress. Whatever your spiritual affiliation may be, I hope you will hold our country, our democracy, and our community close in your hearts and prayers.

Dr. Joyce F. Brown
Fashion Institute of Technology

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