I will step up and speak out to help wake up Potsdam.

This petition made change with 664 supporters!

Dr. Esterberg,

While you are the named recipient, this petition is addressed to the entire SUNY Potsdam community.This "petition" is actually a strong expression of support and intention.

We, the undersigned, express our support for our friends, students, colleagues, and neighbors. We work or study at SUNY Potsdam, or live in the community. We are OUTRAGED by the recent threat. We are concerned for the safety of people of color and LGBTQ people, every day and in every way. We want you to feel welcomed and safe here. We welcome change and diversity at SUNY Potsdam. We want to be part of positive change, and we will step up and speak out.


We want to respond to the recent threat, other issues, and efforts to help Potsdam change positively in the short and long term. This is a wake-up call we can all answer. #WakeUpPotsdam

Many of us are outraged by the recent threat to a faculty member. This threat is no prank, and its author has chosen to be extremely pointed and directly threatening. This behavior is totally unacceptable to us. We are outraged by all such acts, wherever they occur and whatever the level of threat. 

From College President Esterberg's April 26 email: "Over the weekend, a faculty member received a disturbing note that included racist and homophobic vitriol, as well as threats of violence both to the faculty member and their family. Not only is this a [heinous hate] crime, but it is also an attack on the heart and soul of the SUNY Potsdam community and all that we value. . . We believe that an attack on one member of this campus is an attack on all of us.”

Right now, we need to come together to respond to a feeling of unease and shock which this recent threat is creating. Next, this event must be a wake-up call to the SUNY Potsdam community to tackle the issues of true inclusion which have been simmering since our student body became dramatically more diverse. We commit to work every day to create a safer, more welcoming environment where students, faculty, and staff collaborate and educate across differences.

It is 2015, and we want to move forward as a diverse and dynamic community. We commit to be part of positive change at Potsdam. We commit to intervene in slurs, hateful jokes, and ignorant claims. We commit to listen with respect to people of color and LGBTQ people and to ask others to do so. We want to hear about, understand, and contribute to improving their  experience at Potsdam. We commit to build genuine connections and to foster a welcoming community which learns to move into the unknown, into a better world of our own making.

Today: Jennifer is counting on you

Jennifer Mitchell needs your help with “Latesha Fussell, SUNY Potsdam alum and staff member: Wake up Potsdam. I will step up and speak out.”. Join Jennifer and 663 supporters today.