Like so many of you, I am shocked and shaken by the horrific events that occurred in our nation’s capital on January 6th. It seems unfathomable — that a mob of U.S. citizens, incited by our own President, could desecrate the Capitol building with the intent of negating a legitimate election and thwarting the peaceful transition of power. Furthermore, the racist motives underpinning this attack on our democracy are egregious and disheartening.
We can take solace in the coming together of our Senators and Congressmen, demonstrated by their perseverance and resilience that evening as the electoral votes were counted and President-elect Biden’s election confirmed. Our Founding Fathers reminded us that a democracy is not an entitlement, that it is difficult to establish and easily lost. We have witnessed the fragility of our democracy this past week and now must work together in the continuous process of creating a “more perfect union”.
As educators, we have a responsibility to instill in our students the notion that democratic processes are the proper means for resolving differences. We have a duty to provide students with the experiences needed to become effective advocates for positive change and thereby stewards of our democracy. Our free society depends on these efforts.
These times are challenging but the future remains bright. Webb has long fostered a culture of respect and care for others. Let’s build upon these attributes and continue to make a difference.
With my best wishes,
R. Keith Michel
President, Webb Institute