Dear Howard University Community,
I write to you today regarding a topic of significant importance to our nation because I firmly believe that our community has an important calling to demonstrate to the nation and the world that education remains America’s promise.
Yesterday’s announcement that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be rescinded was an attempt to break that promise and to stifle some of this nation’s best and brightest future leaders. This decision means that nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants could lose protection from deportation.
Howard University is a special place for many reasons although I have always appreciated our unique diversity. Our community is an intricate mosaic that includes a variety of ethnicities, religions, and social classes and our common thread is that we represent all that is right about America and the world
Although immigration can be a complicated topic, penalizing innocent children who were brought here by hopeful parents and those who value the promise America has made for centuries is wrong. It contradicts everything that we stand for. Even in the face of political and social unrest, DREAMers refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. That passionate desire for justice is what makes us American not the color of our skin, where we were born, how much money we have, to whom we pray, or the way we choose to love. The nemesis of love is fear. We will not support fear fueled by an ignorance that fails to appreciate the fact that DREAMers want to attend school, learn a vocation, and practice a craft all in the name of improving this nation.
It is because of an unwavering commitment to protect students who are unafraid to dream that I join many Americans who have decided to step up and denounce the Administration’s decision. It is my hope that our U.S. Senators and Members of Congress will make it a priority to protect our DREAMers. Nevertheless, I am reminded that even amid the challenges we face, this institution must remain committed to producing the students and the innovative solutions that our communities need.
I want every member of our community to understand our unequivocal and steadfast commitment on this issue. We are also passionate about providing a safe and nurturing environment for every member of our community and will continue to:
- Support students, faculty staff, and their families with DACA status to the maximum extent the law allows
- Make information available regarding legal resources to address questions presented by students, faculty and staff that may be affected by the executive orders
- Continue to support academic arrangements for enrolled students, who, in extenuating circumstances, cannot be present on campus
- Continue to offer existing online programs including distance learning degree programs, in nursing, pharmacy, allied health and business, as well over 100 online course offerings each semester, across a variety of disciplines
- Explore and continue development of additional online course and program offerings, consistent with the requirements of applicable licensing and accrediting organizations
Both Howard University and this nation are enriched by cultural diversity, and it is indeed one ofour greatest strengths. During this time of uncertainty, I encourage all of us to stay informed, remain engaged and lean on one another for support. We all have a role to play in advocating for the values and principles that have always been part of our rich Howard tradition.
Excellence in Truth and Service,
Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA