Humphrey School Dean Laura Bloomberg's Statement on U.S. Capitol Insurrection

January 7, 2021
Portrait of Laura Bloomberg
Humphrey School Dean Laura Bloomberg. Photo: Bruce Silcox

This message was originally sent to Humphrey School students, faculty, staff, and alumni in response to events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

I have no words to fully describe the outrage and heartache I'm feeling after the horrible event that unfolded in our United States Capitol. I imagine you all feel the same.

The capacity of leaders to speak or remain silent in this moment weighs on me and, while I certainly do not have the power to fix the violence, I do have the choice of whether to speak or remain silent. I choose the former.

White supremacy has no place in a functioning democracy. Not ever. While dissent is fundamental to our democratic values, violence and intent to incite violence are not. They are an assault on our society. In this country we call that sedition. It is a felony. I hope we remember this in the days to come.

Beyond condemning what happened, I want to emphasize that we can all be proud to be part of an institution whose very mission calls us to develop and strengthen the core tenets of democratic institutions and civic life.  

Last fall, this community reviewed and reaffirmed the public service values that undergird what we do at the Humphrey School. We seek to embed these eight values in everything we do and everything we stand for:

  1. Professionalism in public and nonprofit services;
  2. Competency with specialized knowledge and skills;
  3. Promotion of evidence-based policy;
  4. Democratic values in governance and participation;
  5. Respect for different political and philosophical perspectives;
  6. Ethics, social justice, and environmental well-being;
  7. Equity, diversity, and inclusiveness;
  8. Global awareness and intercultural competency.

On a day-to-day basis we might occasionally question our ability to make an impact. We might wonder whether we are really moving the needle on advancing the common good, as our mission urges.

Please know that our work is vital. This awful day in America offers us a powerful reminder about the fundamental importance of upholding the public service values that drive the School.  

I hope that knowledge offers you cautious hope, fierce determination, and a sense that what you do matters.

Laura Bloomberg, Dean
Humphrey School of Public Affairs