More than 60 members of the Arkansas Tech University community attended a “Tech Talks” open forum at Baswell Techionery on Wednesday, July 13, to share points of view on recent acts of violence in Orlando, in Baton Rouge, in suburban St. Paul and in downtown Dallas.
Participants in the hour-long forum included Arkansas Tech students, faculty, staff and alumni.
“We are all deeply troubled by the recent events in Florida, Louisiana, Minnesota, Texas and so many other parts of our nation,” said Dr. Robin E. Bowen, Arkansas Tech president, during the forum. “We gather today to seek understanding. We come together to dialogue. All voices should be heard, all views should be honored and all experiences should be respected.
“We are all human,” continued Bowen. “No one…no one…should fear for his or her life when visiting a local club, when at a traffic stop or when doing his or her job. Nor should anyone fear for his or her life at school, at home, at a movie theater or at an event like this. Peacefully, we should gather to discuss how we can keep an Orlando or a Dallas or a Baton Rouge from happening in our corner of the world, the River Valley of Arkansas. As a nation, we have made progress in civil rights, but we still have far to go. Let today be a step forward in understanding and in caring about our fellow human beings, all human beings.”
The forum was moderated by Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Arkansas Tech, and Joshua McMillian, chief of the Arkansas Tech Department of Public Safety.