Wisconsin Lutheran cancels Vice President Pence’s speech this weekend
The Board of Regents and school administrators made the decision jointly
MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to Milwaukee this weekend to deliver the commencement address at Wisconsin Lutheran College has been canceled.
The Christian college announced the decision Thursday, two days before the Vice President was set to speak, citing “escalating events in Kenosha.”
Saying the Board of Regents and the school administrators jointly decided to go with a different speaker, the college announced Rev. Mark Jeske, of St. Marcus Lutheran Church, will serve as the commencement speaker instead.
A spokesperson for the Vice President’s Office, Devin O’Malley, told NBC15 that Pence “understands and supports Wisconsin Lutheran College’s decision to prioritize the safety and well-being of their students.”
He added that the vice president “wishes the students well as they celebrate the accomplishment of graduating from college and as they embark on their next journey.”
On the same morning as the school announced Pence would no longer be speaking, college president Dr. Daniel Johnson posted a statement on racial injustice. In it, he said the WLC community was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting and the what has happened since.
“We pray that justice and peace will prevail. We pray for Jacob, his family, friends, and the Kenosha community,” Johnson wrote.
Calling racism and systemic inequities in education, justice, and other parts of society “unacceptable,” the school president said the college is committed to working with the community to ensure the safety, well-being, and security of all people.
Read the full statement:
The WLC community is shocked and saddened regarding the shooting of Jacob Blake and the subsequent aftermath. We pray that justice and peace will prevail. We pray for Jacob, his family, friends, and the Kenosha community.
Furthermore, as it relates to broader race issues, WLC stands with our community leaders and partners and recognizes that serious changes need to take place within our country, region, and our cities. Racism and systemic inequities in access to education, justice, and other aspects of society are unacceptable. We are committed to working alongside our community partners to ensure the safety, well-being, and security of all people.
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