President Gallot’s Message: “Black lives have always mattered at Grambling State”

A message to our students,

The recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and many others at the hands of police brutality and the racial injustice that follows have sent shockwaves through our nation and our communities at an already challenging time. 

As a lifelong advocate for Black justice, it is overwhelmingly heartbreaking that your generation of Gramblinites would still face the same persistent systemic racism as mine and all of those before us. You are not alone in your feelings of outrage and grief.  

Students at Grambling State University prove by their choice to be educated at an Historically Black College and University that they are invested in total progress and committed to creating better spaces for people of color to thrive in America and abroad. Since 1901, through world wars, segregation, the Great Depression, recessions, and Jim Crow, Black lives have always mattered at Grambling State University. Here, you are family and as our  motto reminds, we are the place “Where Everybody Is Somebody”. These times call for the Grambling family to unite with our allies and community to find solutions that previous generations could not.  

United with the University of Louisiana System, state legislature, and other pro-justice entities, we are stronger than ever and together we can impact the story in ways that make America a safer place for tomorrow.

The question people are asking around the nation is, “What can we do to affect change?” The most effective, yet the most under-utilized weapon we have is our vote. In the 2016 presidential election, African Americans voted 7 percent less than in 2012. Our true strength exists in our vote. Let’s use it in city, state, and federal elections during 2020 and every other opportunity that we have from now on.

As a man of faith, I encourage you not to forget God nor to give up on prayer. The Bible teaches us that “Faith without works is dead,” and so you must continue your hard work as a student and see your goals through graduation and beyond. Every Black dream fulfilled builds us closer to a nation ripe for racial equality. 

The first amendment guarantees you the right to free speech, to assemble and to petition your government. If you participate in protests, please do it safely (wearing your mask), responsibly and lawfully. 

As the world continues to witness our collective resilience, please remember who you are: strong and brilliant innovators who are powerful beyond measure, wonderfully made and infinitely whole. We honor your place in this world and expect you all to be the change this country needs to see.

Stay safe and vigilant,