Hollins President Mary Dana Hinton shared the following message with students, faculty, and staff in response to the rioting at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021:
Dear Hollins community:
The past 24 hours have brought forth a rush of emotions. As I watched mob violence unfold at the U.S. Capitol, I found myself genuinely fearful about the democracy on which our country was founded. A democracy which – even with its flaws – represents a promise of hope to all people. The emotions I felt were visceral as I witnessed this terrible moment in history.
My fear was matched – and at times supplanted – by my anger. Anger that some people feel so entitled to their demands that they believe they can attack the very heart – literally and figuratively – of the nation they claim to love. Anger at the inexplicable injustice of how a federal insurrection was handled versus how protesters, the majority of whom were peaceful, were treated in 2020.
Yet, I awoke this morning with a heart filled with hope. Yes, I was relieved that Congress successfully fulfilled its Constitutional mandate. But, truthfully, my hope stemmed not from what occurred in Washington, DC, overnight but from what happens at Hollins every day. My hope was born out of our mission which explicitly calls us to nurture civility, integrity, and concern for others, and encourage and value diversity and social justice. Our mission – and the daily work of our faculty, staff, and students – stands in stark contrast to what we saw yesterday. Our mission and our work is the future as a community and as a nation.
Today, more than ever before, we must embrace the call of our mission. What we do each day counters fear mongering, hate-filled actions, injustice, and threats to democracy. With my whole heart I believe that when we learn, live, and love together, we are the counternarrative to what we saw unfold. We are called on this day to work harder, to be better, to do better, and to use our voice so that never again will we have to witness an insurgence wrought by misinformation and injustice.
Mary Dana Hinton