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September 13, 2017
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JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



Statement From Chancellor Betty A. Rosa At The Opening Of the Board Of Regents Meeting On The Anniversary of 9/11

Chancellor Betty A. Rosa delivered the following Moment of Reflection at the start of the September meeting of the NYS Board of Regents:

“Sixteen years ago, on this day, our country was attacked by a foreign entity.  Thousands of people lost their lives and the hopes and dreams of many families were changed forever more.  The scars of that day will remain with us for eternity.

A few of us on this Board were district superintendents in NYC then, and on the morning of September 11, 2001, we were in a meeting in downtown Brooklyn – about 2 miles from the World Trade Center – when we received the news of the planes crashing into the twin towers.  We hurriedly left the meeting and headed back to our districts, not yet realizing the depth of the issues we’d soon be facing in our schools and communities.  It was a long and dark day.  We needed time to recover and to find our bearings.  And now, 16 years later, our nation again seeks direction, but this time for many other reasons. 

Today, here and now, I am honored to say, that the work we have done and will continue to do, will enable New York State to shine a bright light for all to see and we will proudly lead the way in providing equitable educational opportunities for all children no matter their identified gender, sexual orientation, status of citizenship, economic standing, special needs, race, ethnicity, religion or primary language – and this will be done equitably and in integrated and inclusive settings for the benefit of everyone. 

And this is not about making America great again; rather, it’s about fulfilling the promise of America, it’s about justice, it’s about morality, it’s about reparation, it’s about integrity, it’s about demonstrating the potential of the human spirit at its best – and yes, it’s about those who dare to DREAM about being part of the American culture and to contribute their threads of beauty and genius to the fabric of this land.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. envisioned the Beloved Community in which all are embraced and no one is discriminated against.  I believe that Dr. King was the cartographer of the map that we now use to guide us on our journey. 

As a Board and as a Department responsible for the lives and futures of millions of children, we have chosen to provide an educational system that not only supports all children equitably, but one that also encourages brotherhood and citizenship along with intellectual achievement.

And please let us not forget the children in our state who are homeless, who live in poverty, and who struggle every day to attend school. And may we keep in mind through our prayers, thoughts, and deeds, those children and families in Texas, Florida, and throughout the Caribbean whose lives were upended by the recent disastrous hurricanes.

Your continued commitment is recognized and greatly appreciated. Thank you.