We Are Better Together
A message from City Council and W&M President Rowe
From Williamsburg City Council:
Greater Williamsburg, although made up of three municipal jurisdictions, is truly one wonderful community. Because of the broad appeal of our built and natural environments and due to the presence of world-class institutions such as William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg, in addition to our complementary, high-quality entertainment venues, we draw students, visitors, workers, and residents from all over the nation and internationally.
Our diversity is our strength, whether it comes from the wisdom of experience meeting youthful exuberance, the melding of cultural enrichment, the sharing of differing political viewpoints, or simply understanding our varied life experiences, we all learn from each other and grow in the process, and we are better for it.
And yet, we are not immune from the current public-health emergency that is COVID-19. This insidious virus has dramatically altered the world as we know it in a matter of months and our community within weeks. Abrupt change and the uncertainty of the future can create stress for many, and we need to find constructive ways to deal with those stresses. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the situation, please find help. Here are a few ways to connect: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255; Disaster Distress Helpline 800-986-5990; or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 for crisis counseling.
Sometimes it may just seem so unfair that lives have been turned upside down, but there is no benefit in assigning blame—there is no good that comes from suspicion or mistreatment of others; rather, that will be our undoing. Incidents of hate, xenophobia, or racism have no place in our community and will not be tolerated. We all have a role to play in curtailing the increase in infections and flattening the curve, and we must have faith and trust in others along the way. Whatever success we will eventually have will be directly correlated to our ability to work together, with respect and civility, to overcome the challenges we face.
There are many things to appreciate about greater Williamsburg, and chief among those is our inclusion and acceptance of others, particularly in times of crisis. Please do not allow the difficulties of this emergency to alter our core values. Let’s show the world what we can accomplish in unison, all the while maintaining proper social distancing.
Mayor Paul Freiling, Vice-Mayor Doug Pons, and Council members Ted Maslin, Barbara Ramsey, Benny Zhang
From William & Mary President, Katherine Rowe:
At William & Mary, we hold the value of belonging among our most cherished ideals. In this pandemic, I count on each of us to affirm that value in everything we do. It is our individual and collective responsibility to create a welcoming and caring community that embraces diverse people and perspectives. I join Williamsburg’s Mayor and City Council in asking everyone in our community, near and far, to treat one another with mutual respect – recognizing the uncertainty and worry that we all face together. Incidents of hate, xenophobia and racism have no place on our campus or in our communities and will not be tolerated.