The presidents representing Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University of Pennsylvania issued the following joint statement:
As we navigate these unprecedented times, we are now forced to deal with a series of tragic events. The unconscionable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were unnecessary incidents that have drawn national and international attention. Many people realize that this can and should be the moment to move America forward — into an era of social and economic justice, equity, and stability. We, as a nation, must do better.
Representing the two oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in our nation — Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University of Pennsylvania — we stand together against racial injustice. America’s HBCUs are in a unique position to be at the forefront of this effort. Our institutions exist because there was a time when universities did not accept African Americans into the ranks of their student population, so we created our own. Now, more than ever, our vision and our voices must be heard.
We call on our students to focus their energy on bringing constructive change to the society in which we live. We ask them to use the modern technology and resources that previous generations did not have as the means to adapt, to overcome inequities and to change our communities for the better. Most importantly, we want our students to stay safe at all times, whether they decide to express their voices at home or in person at peaceful demonstrations.
We are reminded of the words of two prominent alumni of our storied institutions. They are just as relevant today as when they were first spoken and penned:
“…We do solemnly pledge ourselves to assist by our means any suit brought against the perpetrators of outrages…”
– Octavius V. Catto, Cheyney University, Class of 1858
“O, let my land be a land where Liberty Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath, But opportunity is real, and life is free, Equality is in the air we breathe.”
– Langston Hughes, Lincoln University, Class of 1929
We are in challenging times that require unity and a sense of purpose. Cheyney University and Lincoln University stand united in the fight for social justice.
– Aaron A. Walton, President, Cheyney University
– Dr. Brenda A. Allen, President, Lincoln University