FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2023
PHRC releases statement following the death of Temple University's acting president
HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Chair Joel Bolstein, and Executive Director Chad Dion Lassiter extend their condolences to the family of Temple University's acting president JoAnne Epps, the faculty, staff, and students at Temple University, and all those who knew her.
In a statement, Executive Director Lassiter said, "Temple University became a second home for me over the past decade. It first started with my dear colleague Jen Bretschneider who brought me on as an adjunct professor in the Temple University Beasley School of Law. I taught a Disaster Law Clinic out of the Red Cross House with the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Those five years were memorable. It was during that time that I would occasionally see Dean Epps. She always had an encouraging word and would always ask me how the clinic was coming along. Last year, we became even closer as the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission partnered with Temple University on a Social Justice Lecture Series that featured Anita Hill. This year, we were planning another lecture series. Even in her new role as President, I was always amazed at how she would respond to my texts and emails, given the demands on her. Her emails, her encouraging texts and how she touched so many will never be forgotten. The Mount Rushmore of social justice change agents must now carve out a space for her. Dean Epps, Sadie T. Alexander, Judge Raymond Pace Alexander, Cecil B. Moore, and Dr. Constance Clayton are my historical and contemporary giants. My continued prayers will be with her soul, with her family, with the Temple University community, and the legal community et. al. Rest in Peace, Rest in Power."