Community Message of Support: June 1, 2020

Dear Members of the Eastman Community,

In my weekly messages to the community, I am privileged to share notes of accomplishments, positivity, and joy.  I write today, not to celebrate accomplishments, but to acknowledge that members of our community are hurting—deeply.  The senseless death of George Floyd in Minneapolis is heartbreaking and appalling.  The outrage and anger expressed throughout the country is not because of an isolated incident.  It is the reoccurrence of injustice that has been experienced throughout our entire lives, without changes for the better, that has ignited this fury.  

It has been said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.  As a community, we must stand up to wrongdoing, we must speak along with those whose voices have been disregarded, and we must be part of the solution that brings true equality, equity, and justice to all people.  The Eastman School of Music, along with the University of Rochester, stands against hatred, bigotry, and discrimination of any kind.  Our school is committed to be a safe community for all of our students—regardless of background, ethnicity, and race.  We will work in partnership with the University Office of Equity and Inclusion to educate and empower each other so that we can work to end this vicious cycle of racism and intolerance, which have no room in our society.

Dear friends, our community is hurting.  While we have been socially distanced for months, now is the time to reach out to your friends and colleagues.  Comfort those in need of comfort.  Share your own pain if you need to share.  Care for those who need care—both within and beyond the Eastman community.  Even recognizing that miles and continents currently stand between us, university resources exist to support you however we can.  These include:

I send to you all my sincere hope for peace and strength in light of the most recent events, and safety and health in the midst of our ongoing pandemic.  Be assured that you are not alone, and that your school stands with you.


Yours in solidarity,

Jamal Rossi