This past Thursday, August 9, several of us from UW Tacoma had the pleasure of attending the Tacoma NAACP Freedom Fund Awards Banquet. It was a wonderful community event which features the presentation of annual community awards, granting of special scholarships, and talks by passionate speakers from community and government leaders. For example we heard from our city council along with comments from Representative Derek Kilmer and Senator Maria Cantwell.
One of the highlights was the keynote speaker who was David Zeeck, publisher of The News Tribune, UW Regent and former member of the UW Tacoma Advisory Board. David delivered a powerful message about the role of a free press in a democratic society. He condemned “a new threat shared by communities of color and by the press, really by the nation as a whole. The threat is an attack on the truth.”
David went on to say that “We seekers of truth need one another.… If people know the truth, they will almost always make a good decision. If the truth is kept from them, the dream of equal justice, the basis of our Republic, will eventually die.”
Those were powerful words and were received with a standing ovation. I want to thank David for his inspiring message, which lies at the heart of the UW commitment to our mission of advancing equity and changing lives. I am so grateful that our campus is positioned as an anchor institution with an urban-serving focus for this community. We all have the privilege to be involved in the important efforts to advance this community together. I look forward to attending other community events where we have the opportunity to celebrate together. If you did not have the opportunity to attend, please watch for details of next year’s 24th annual dinner.