Statement on the January 6 United States Capitol Attack

January 7, 2021


January 7, 2021

Dear Members of the GW Community,

The Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement is outraged by the encouraged violence that occurred yesterday at the Capitol of the United States of America, just blocks from our home at the George Washington University. Yesterday represents an assault on our liberty and the fundamental values of American democracy.

We express our condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives or were injured as a result of what took place.

We honor the Constitutional rights of all Americans to assemble and protest, however we condemn acts of violence and destruction. The stark difference between yesterday’s disregard for safety, security, and property and the summer protests has been deeply felt by our team. While the protests this summer were largely peaceful and were staged in order to highlight and demand the rights due to all Americans, what we saw yesterday was in direct contradiction; it was an attempt to deny and even overthrow our democracy and our duly elected leaders. The memories of brutality inflicted on peaceful protesters this summer makes the processing of yesterday’s events particularly painful for many members of our community.

For those who are experiencing racial trauma, or any other form of trauma, and are seeking healing, we encourage you to utilize campus resources including: Counseling and Psychological Services, Advocacy & Support, Student Affairs, Human Resources, Faculty Affairs, and of course ODECE. There are also several Post-Election Programs and Events that we invite you to join this month, including the Annual King Week.

We are grateful that our nation’s Congressional leaders upheld the democracy that we hold dear and fulfilled their responsibilities to certify the 2020 election. Yesterday’s attempt to destroy our government and democracy has only reignited our determination to protect and defend it. Active civic engagement and the support of democratic institutions and policymaking are in the DNA of the George Washington University. Thank you to all of our alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members who are on the frontlines of upholding our democratic ideals. In the words of Coretta Scott King, “freedom is never really have to earn it and win it in every generation.”


Caroline Laguerre-Brown, JD
Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Michael R. Tapscott
Director, Multicultural Student Services Center
Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Helen A. Cannaday
Director, Community Engagement & DC Partnerships
Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Alisa Major, M.Ed.
Interim Director, Disability Support Services
Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Jordan S. West, PhD
Director of University Diversity & Inclusion Programs

Amy B. Cohen
Executive Director, Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service
Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Asha Reynolds
Interim Director & Title IX Coordinator
Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement