November 11, 2020

"Thank You!"

For the very first time, the previous Wednesday Word was just that, a single word, VOTE!  This week the Wednesday Word has been expanded to two words – “Thank You!”   We offer thanks because it took a record number of people voting to rid us of the most divisive, self-serving, petulant, vile, (I could go on but I will stop there) executive leader this nation has known.  And it took a record number of you voting for a ticket that will not only put a real educator in the White House (First Lady, Dr. Biden) the ticket more famously included the first woman, the first African American, the first Indian American, the first bi-racial, the first HBCU graduate, and the first member of a Divine 9 organization (again I could go on but I will stop there) to become Vice President-elect – Sen. Kamala Harris!

There are a lot of people to thank so let’s get to it.   Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote and who also encouraged others to do the same.  Thank you to the adult children who either took their senior parents to vote or assisted them with the mail-in process.  Thank you to parents who took their young children to experience the voting process with them.  Teach them young.

20191011_Office of Diversity_04LSUF copy

We thank the voting rights pioneers and others who fought for our right to vote and the angels amongst that group that have recently left us, John Lewis, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elijah Cummings, and even Joh McCain.  Thank you Phoenix, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Detroit, and Raleigh for coming through in the clutch.

Speaking of clutch performances, we thank LeBron, Mahomes, and other pro athletes in the NFL, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLB, and other sports for their massive voting push.  We thank our many collegiate athletes who did the same.  Big thanks to all postal workers for the extra hustle to handle the record 65 million mail-in votes and thank you election workers (incredibly nice this year) who handled a record number of voters and a record number of ballots that had to (and continue to) be certified.

Thanks to the prayer warriors, the campaign workers, and the growing army of women that were elected throughout the nation.  Thank you  #BlackLivesMatter, #BlackGirlMagic, and #MakeAPlanToVote.  So many thanks to go around and so much work remaining to be done.  

We’ve been beat up these last four years and we have witnessed absurdity, theatrics, and down-right hatred from places where they should never have been in the first place.  However, as I have shared this MLK quote before, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”.  Stay encouraged and lend a hand as we help to “heal our land”. 


Our 2021 AABHE Virtual Annual Conference will be held March 15-16th.  We will be delivering as much of our regular annual conference content as we can possibly deliver in an engaging virtual format.  Nikki Giovanni is confirmed as our keynote speaker.  Additionally, great speakers, panels, sessions, awards, and even social events are all being planned.  “See you” next March…


Our Online Education and Engagement Webinar Series continued, last Friday, October 23, with "It’s a Different World for Faculty and Students: Pivoting, Salvaging, and Surviving the Semester During COVID-19 " presented by a distinguished panel featuring several of our AABHE members who have current faculty appointments. Great job, Drs. Jennifer Ellis, Evelyn Fields, Shewanee Howard-Baptiste, Imani Scott, and Pete Silver.  Please be sure to join us again, Wednesday, Nov. 13th 12:00 p.m. (CST) / 1:00pm (EST),for Part VI of our series: “Career Management: When and How to Transition Jobs During a Pandemic” You can register online at


“It’s all about the students”,

Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr
Dr. Dereck J. Rovaris, Sr.
President, AABHE