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Statement on the Events of January 6, 2021

The events we are witnessing today in Washington DC at the US Capitol Building are unprecedented. As a boy in Cuba, America and its Constitution represented the democratic ideals that my family and I sought. It was that place beyond the seas that beckoned and held the promise of freedom that fueled our dreams; it was that promise that led us to leave our country and join this nation’s ongoing quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I am saddened and dismayed to watch the footage and read the news of today’s assault on the cradle of democracy. To see those who would disrupt what should be a historic day, celebrating the peaceful transfer of power after a democratic election, is disheartening and goes against everything we represent as a nation. I sincerely hope that we can find common ground, unify this country and restore the faith in our government and the ideals that define us both as a nation and as a beacon of democracy to the world.

I believe that we are better than what we saw today, and, in spite of this affront, the democratic process will prevail. It is my hope that we will listen to our better angels and once again come together to realize the ideals and dreams at our core. As an educator, I believe that knowledge can set us free, that access to education is a hallmark to democracy, and that institutions of higher education like QCC lead the way forward, providing opportunities for our community to engage in civil discourse of ideas, empower our pursuits, foster democracy, and pave the way for a better future. It is my hope that we can move past this dark day and become the nation that we were truly meant to be –the country that I longed for as a child and that I have so dearly come to love.


Luis G. Pedraja, Ph.D