March 6, 2022
Dear PTC Community,
It is hard to watch the images of war—repeatedly shown but watch we must! What we are seeing transpire with the invasion of Ukraine is troubling and impossible to rationalize. Seeing so many people needlessly lose their lives and their homes as they stand tall in the defense of democracy is also inspiring. A sovereign nation should not fall to subjugation simply because another possesses the urge and power to do so. Accordingly, when something of this magnitude erupts on the world stage, our collective humanity cannot turn a deaf ear or blind eye to these events.
Our hearts weep for the loss of innocent Ukrainian lives, and all innocent lives lost, and we join the voices of democracy in calling for the cease of this reckless violation of international law. Our hearts are with all who are directly in harm’s way because of this direct attack on Ukrainian sovereignty. The implications are deeply troubling: these include the humanitarian toll that already is being felt in Ukraine and around the world; and the potential long-term, global impacts. Our world and our collective fate are intrinsically tied together as a global society and this attack has created a level of fragility.
As a community of higher learning, and as citizens of the world, we have the opportunity to learn from and explore this troubling time together. In the coming days and weeks, I am asking members from the PTC students and faculty within our community from all backgrounds to engage in conversations. We celebrate our ability to speak freely to one another about the most serious issues that face society, to learn from one another, and to contribute as we continue each day to be global citizens.
As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. poignantly expressed, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Many may find this period triggering and may need help processing this moment. I encourage you to reach out if needed to our Dean of Counseling and Student Development, Dr. Stephanie Svilar to talk or for a referral at Svilar.Stephanie@ptcollege.edu or call 412-809-5341. As a community, we must continue to offer compassion and support for one another, including all our faculty, staff and students who are impacted. Our hearts are heavy as we continue to watch the events unfold, and we remain hopeful for the return of peace to that region and the world.
“First, they came….”
First, they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— _because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
By Martin Niemöller, Lutheran Pastor born in the Westphalian town of Lippstadt, Germany, on January 14, 1892
We are #PTC Strong!
Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, Ph.D.