We, the student body presidents of the University of Nebraska system, representing 51,000 fellow students at UNO, UNL, UNK and UNMC, stand united in the fight for peace, justice and equity for all.
We have felt so many emotions over the past week.
Grief over George Floyd’s death.
Fury that his name is only the latest addition to a long list of black Americans who have been unjustly killed – Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and too many others before them.
Frustration that this is happening against the backdrop of public health and economic crises that have impacted so many people around the world.
Pride in the thousands of Americans, including many of our fellow Nebraskans, who have peacefully advocated for justice, and disappointment over scenes of destruction that have distracted from the causes for which we stand.
And hope – that our generation can help lead the way forward.
This experience has left us collectively saddened with certain members of our community deeply affected, but now is the time to focus on actions that will make this a moment of real and positive change. We intend to live, work and raise our children in a world where diversity is celebrated, where opportunity is extended to all, and where every individual is treated equitably, regardless of the color of their skin.
We are proud to serve a University that champions these values, and we thank our president and chancellors for their support in words and actions. At the same time, we know we have work to do. As we look ahead, each of us will be working with student leaders across our campuses on additional ideas for making our communities even more inclusive, equitable, safe and welcoming for all. As President Carter said, we believe in a better tomorrow, but only if we work together for lasting change.
We go in to these conversations with open hearts, minds and great hope for our future.
Student Body President, University of Nebraska at Omaha
Student Body President, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
Student Body President, University of Nebraska at Kearney
Student Body President, University of Nebraska Medical Center