As a U.S. historian, I approach this week’s holiday through a critical lens. A national holiday fueled by legend and colored by the history of colonialism and conquest, it can be a day of painful reminders for many, particularly for people of indigenous descent and others affected by similar histories and realities. But it can also serve as a moment to pause and reflect on the things for which we are grateful. I want to take advantage of this moment to share with all of you how grateful I am to be here and to work for such an amazing university.
I am grateful to the Ohlone and Coast Miwok peoples on whose ancestral lands we study and work. I am grateful to our students who remind us every day that what we do here matters and who push us to be authentic and committed. I am grateful to our staff and faculty who have welcomed me and regularly teach me new things about what makes SF State special. I am grateful that we are surrounded by alumni and community and civic leaders who are deeply engaged and supportive. We are a community rich in people, spirit and values.
Yesterday’s incident in the library serves as a reminder that these are challenging times. I am grateful to all, particularly the University Police Department and the library staff and faculty, who worked quickly to ensure the safety of our campus.
As we approach the holiday and long weekend, I wish all time for reflection and rest and a weekend full of friends and family.