Harper College

Message from President Dr. Avis Proctor on violence at U.S. Capitol

Dear Harper College community,

Never in my lifetime did I think I would witness what I did on January 6. I watched in horror as our democracy was attacked by a lawless mob storming the U.S. Capitol. This was an affront to the values we hold as a nation, and I join all who condemn these violent rioters and their futile attempt to undermine our democratic processes.

As an institution of higher education, it is our responsibility to educate our college community on the fundamental principles of government, free and fair elections, the peaceful transfer of power, and our civic responsibilities. We affirm that facts matter. And we support the right to protest and the ideals of freedom of speech and expression. However, threats and violence have no place in our society. We must honor different perspectives and strive to become a more just Union through peaceful discourse and the fair and equitable treatment of one another.

The disparate treatment between rioters attempting an insurrection and peaceful protesters was striking. These are indeed troubling times and we must engage each other and do our part to build what the late Congressman John Lewis called the Beloved Community, “a nation and world society at peace with itself.”

Despite all that transpired at the Capitol, Congress reassembled later that night and got back to work. We, too, are resilient, and I am confident that we can come together to find a better way forward and continue the civil discourse that is the hallmark of our democracy. I was reminded of what the late Senator John McCain once said: “Our shared values define us more than our differences. And acknowledging those shared values can see us through our challenges today if we have the wisdom to trust in them again.”

Forward together,

Dr. Avis Proctor


I encourage students who would like additional support to contact Counseling Services. Faculty and staff can utilize our employee assistance program, Workplace Solutions.

Last Updated: 6/3/24