Averett Message of Solidarity

Posted on June 1st, 2020 by Cassie Jones

Dear Averett Family and Friends,

Like each of you, I am shaken by the devastating acts of racism, violence and hatred we are currently witnessing. The recent murder of Mr. George Floyd by a Minnesota police officer and the chaos that has disrupted peaceful and purposeful protests have left our country hurting, especially our African American brothers and sisters who are reeling from this and other tragedies in the midst of a global pandemic and economic uncertainties.

We can do better. We must do better.

It is imperative that as individuals, we each do the work to learn, grow and heal, and use that to help dismantle systemic issues in our country and world. The strength of our campus lies within our diversity, and one of the cornerstones of higher education is the opportunity to be changed for the better by those who are different from ourselves. We support all Averett Family members who are grieving, anxious and scared, and are inspired by their perseverance and bravery.

I am moved by the words of Rev. Dr. John Upton, Averett Class of 1974, and Executive Director of the Baptist General Association of Virginia:

“Let us feel the brokenness and the truthfulness of what is being protested. Let us commit ourselves to equality and dignity of all persons as we grieve the death of George Floyd. Let us grieve the misuse of force while being thankful for those in law enforcement who march with the protestors.” 

I am thankful for the work of countless Averett students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends who remain united in our resolve to address injustice in ways that can truly make a positive difference in the world. Now more than ever, I call on each of us to do more today and tomorrow than we have in the past to demonstrate Averett’s mission and what it means to be catalysts for positive change in our communities.

Stay strong, be safe and know that we are here for our Averett Family and this community.


Dr. Tiffany M. Franks
President, Averett University