Skip to main content
Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

Guest Opinion: Creating inclusive and equitable communities

Winona Post  
Winona Daily News


Rev. James Patrick Burns, IVD, PhD, ABPP, president of Saint Mary’s University
Larry Lundblad, interim president of Minnesota State College Southeast
Scott R. Olson, president of Winona State University

As Winona’s higher education leaders, we are distressed and upset by the killing of Mr. George Floyd. Though Minneapolis is 100 miles away from Winona, the events there are having an effect worldwide, and will affect us here. Because it is summer, and because our students are elsewhere, the effect may be somewhat delayed. This gives us time as a community to reflect on how we can be more welcoming and inclusive. Our institutions must play a role in making the world and our local community better, and we will.

To that end, we reject and condemn harassment, wrongful discrimination, disrespect, racist acts, and all forms of hatred, especially those leading to destruction of life. We support the right of peaceful protest – the right of the people peaceably to assemble – as guaranteed in the First Amendment. We are reflecting upon and reviewing how our institutions could have done better in combatting systemic injustice and unfair class systems that enable racist behaviors, and we invite all institutions in the community to do the same. Happily, we have superb resources here in Winona thanks to Project FINE, our religious institutions, and our own faculties to help in this work.

We will seek to create inclusive and equitable communities on and off campus. To that end, we ask our fellow Winonans to work with us and join in efforts that build and support a world in which all are afforded full human dignity. As universities dedicated to intellectual excellence, we recognize the essential contribution of our diverse communities and how they all help us advance an atmosphere of respect.

Please join us in this work. Please reflect on the ways that Winona can be more welcoming, equitable, and inclusive. Please share with us your ideas about how we can do better. Please take the steps you can to ensure that racism has no place in our beautiful town.

© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


This document is available in alternative formats to individuals with disabilities by calling 507-453-2700.

Minnnesota State Logo - vertical

Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State