Statement of Solidarity to Our Colleagues in Charlottesville

Dear Members, Colleagues, and Friends:

Please join the POD Network in sending our thoughts, deepest support, and solidarity to our colleagues at the University of Virginia and to the entire Charlottesville, Virginia, USA, community, as they mourn, heal, and prepare to begin the academic year. The POD Network supports educational developers, faculty, and students in Charlottesville, and elsewhere, as we address the fallout of white supremacist violence this past weekend that left three fatalities and over 30 injuries.

We reaffirm that the POD Network’s core values include standing for diverse perspectives, advocacy, social justice, respect, and ethical practices. As an organization, we condemn bigotry, racism, terrorism, and hatred in all forms, including those propagated by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville this weekend.

The work of educational development is dedicated to “helping colleges and universities function effectively as teaching and learning communities” (Felten, Kalish, Pingree, & Plank, 2007, p. 93) and supporting positive institutional change.  In addition to reaffirming our shared values, the POD Network would like to encourage our community of educational developers to realize our unique and important role in this critical time.

The POD Network is here to support you in your continued work to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to create inclusive, welcoming communities. In this spirit, we encourage discussion about how you and your campuses and communities are responding, along with support, connection, and collegiality across our many institutions. After the U.S. election, many of you participated in a discussion at the POD Conference and shared valuable resources that your CTLs developed to support your campus communities in this view-only Google folder. Two valued resources about responding to tragedy are also available at POD’s website. In this same spirit, we encourage CTLs to share resources via the POD Network Google discussion group.

As plans for the fall POD Network Conference come together, we will share opportunities to continue these conversations in person. In the meantime, we hope that these POD Network resources will be helpful. Please also work together with us in a vision of a world where we need to refer to them less often in the future.

Sincerely,

The POD Network Executive and Core Committees

Mary Wright, President
Kevin Barry, Past President
Cassandra Volpe Horii, President Elect
Victoria Bhavsar, Chair of Finance, 2015–2018
Hoag Holmgren, Executive Director
Dorothe Bach, 2017–2020
Erica Bastress-Dukehart, 2016–2019
Gabriele Bauer, 2017–2020
Lindsay Bernhagen, 2016–2019
Allison Boye, 2015–2018
Jake Glover, 2015–2018
Stacy Grooters, 2016–2019
Carol Hurney, 2015–2018
Jonathan Iuzzini, 2017–2020
Kathryn Linder, 2017–2020
Carl Moore, 2017–2020
David Sacks, 2016–2019
Richard Swan, 2016–2019
Roben Torosyan, 2015–2018