On this week’s episode of Finlandia Fridays, host Olivia Myers is joined by Cindy Cowell and Ronnie Keener, members of the President’s Social Justice Task Force. Cowell is the chair of the task force and director of Finlandia’s TRIO Student Support Services while Keener, a senior studying Sports Management, is a student member.
“The President’s Social Justice Task Force came about after the murder of George Floyd by law enforcement officers this summer,” said Cowell. “President Johnson and I ended up in an exchange via email, where I was asking, ‘what can Finlandia do intentionally to make sure we are advocates for social justice, specifically in our community and where might we identify places on campus regarding our systems and disenfranchised populations?’. The more we talked about it President Johnson said ‘we need to move forward with intention and I would like to call a President’s Task Force on Social Justice.'”
Currently the Task Force only has eight members made up of faculty, staff and students, but Cowell hopes they can engage the entire campus community in dialogues throughout the year and beyond. For Keener, he’s looking forward to joining in on those conversations and bringing unity in this time of polarization.
“I just want everybody to come together, be there for each other, and talk to each other, because, as a black man on this campus, I feel appreciated by everybody no matter what their race is,” said Keener. “I think this school is pretty diverse. I feel appreciated and I just want peace and the only way it’s going to happen is everybody comes together. I know some people are stuck in their ways and can’t change that, but it’s worth a try.
“At the end of the day, we’re all humans. We all live. We’re all going to die. But why not make the best of each other, instead of tearing each other apart?”
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