In light of recent events that have forced this nation to more closely examine its record of racial injustice, ECPI University has issued the following statement to support its African-American students:
The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and subsequent events has opened a dialogue surrounding racial inequality that takes many of us out of our comfort zones. Many Americans often feel like they can’t say or do the right thing when in a discussion about race and so they avoid the dialogue. Today, we can no longer look the other way, and hope the dialogue will disappear. The issues of police brutality, racial inequality, and racism have been brought to the forefront of our conscience. As many individuals and organizations are actively engaged in discussions surrounding these issues, we are hopeful that some positive change can come from them.
Many are trying to view this as a time of awakening. A time where we will all have to face a difficult discussion, but together we will make progress. ECPI University is proud of our long-standing commitment to diversity within our students, faculty, and staff, and to assisting underserved students wherever and whenever we can. We play our part towards a solution by changing lives and helping reduce income inequality in the nation.
We want to be very clear, we do not and never will support excessive police force or racism. ECPI University continues to be part of the solution by educating future law enforcement officers in our Criminal Justice program which emphasizes diversity training across our curriculum, addressing the multiracial communities in which law enforcement serves. Courses address diverse cultures, responding to emergency situations involving individuals with mental health needs and supporting victims of complex traumatic crimes. We integrate scenarios in our interactive simulation MILO ranges that immerse law enforcement to respond appropriately to de-escalate situations and select appropriate options that are less likely to result in the use of unnecessary force. Educating law enforcement and accountability are two of the keys to eliminating future incidents.
In every way, education can be a great equalizer. By finding meaningful ways to increase access to education, in all communities, our society stands a chance to break down the barriers to racial inequality and income inequality.
That is why ECPI University is taking action now to improve access for African-Americans into programs that offer economic opportunity and upward mobility. We know we can do more. As part of our contribution to this effort, our ECPI community is proud to announce the LIFT Scholarship. (Lead, Instruct, Foster, Transform)
- This program will consist of $4 million in tuition scholarships, computers, and Wi-Fi access for African Americans in STEM + Health Care programs
- ECPI University will encourage all recipients to participate in a community service project to help underserved communities.
- ECPI University faculty will conduct opportunity sessions for minority K-12 students to highlight opportunities in STEM+H health careers.
ECPI University has a strong record of graduating minorities into careers in health care, information technology, business, criminal justice, and hospitality. We are recognized for being 3rd in the nation in the number of African-Americans graduating with undergraduate computer science degrees – nearly 2.4% of all such degrees earned in the U.S. We are also the largest provider of African-American nurses in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In addition, ECPI University is working in conjunction with the Beacon Education Foundation (a Virginia 501(C)3 to raise additional funding for the LIFT Scholarship. If you would like to make a donation, please visit https://www.beaconedu.org/.