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Condemning Recent Bomb Threats

February 1, 2022

Dear Howard University Community,

In the early hours of this morning, our University received yet another bomb threat, the third in less than a month to be levied against us and several of our fellow historically Black colleges and universities. Our first and immediate response was, of course, to verify the credibility of the threat and ensure that no harm would befall our community. But our subsequent response, the one we make after the initial fear of danger has subsided, is equally significant.

As we mark the beginning of Black History Month, we must remember what the Black community has endured, overcome and achieved despite the threats against us and the hate we have received. Now is the time for us to embody the resilience and persistence of our ancestors. We must move forward with our missions, undaunted by the threats of bad actors and strengthened by the examples of excellence set by those who came before us.

It is critical that we do not allow these harassments to distract or deter us from the purpose that has brought each of us to Howard University. The Black community is no stranger to these sorts of threats, both real and fabricated. The institutions dedicated to the education of people of color have always been a source of fear and a target of violence for those who wish to undermine the pursuit of justice and enshrine the unequal status quo in our society. We have never before enabled, and we will not now begin to allow tactics of intimidation to affect how we educate our students at Howard. External pressure must not be permitted to dictate what, why and how we teach our students. On the contrary, threats of this nature only reinforce the vital mission of our hallowed and historic University and the motivation that fuels us to study, to work, to teach and to learn.

We know that situations like these heighten our concern for the wellbeing of ourselves and our peers, colleagues, family and friends. But rest assured that every conceivable measure is being taken to protect, defend and secure our campus community. As our law enforcement and public safety officers are busy doing their important jobs, it is incumbent upon the rest of us to carry on doing ours. We each have a role to play to ensure that Howard continues to serve as a beacon for social justice and equal rights. So long as we remain united, stay focused on our goals and never allow intimidation to arrest our forward momentum, nothing will stop us from telling the truth, serving our communities and changing the world.

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance during this time. Let us move forward together to counteract the malevolent forces in our society and inspire goodness to triumph.

Excellence in Truth and Service,

Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D., MBA

Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery


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