The following is an open letter to the Virginia Tech community from William T. Lewis Sr., vice president for Diversity and Inclusion.

Our Virginia Tech Principles of Community call on us to take individual and collective responsibility to eliminate bias and discrimination. As a university community, it is essential that we encourage actions that affirm the inherent dignity and value of every person, and that our climate for work and learning be based on mutual respect and understanding.

Unfortunately some recent incidents at the university have perpetuated insensitive stereotypes of diverse cultures and social groups. Regardless of intentions, these actions contradicted our principles as a diverse and progressive institution and the university acknowledges and regrets the hurt caused by these incidents. However from adversity can come opportunity. We must rekindle our commitment to an environment where each member of the community can contribute to a spirit of innovation for the benefit of our common humanity.

Daily we are afforded opportunities to learn, empathize, and dedicate ourselves to the service of others. We invite the university community to reaffirm its dedication to our Principles of Community, and to actions that reflect our principles in a spirit of Strong Together. The Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion remains attentive to concerns about institutional climate and we welcome opportunities for dialogue on ways to strengthen our university community.

Sincerely,

William T. Lewis Sr.
Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion