Manifesto Raises Serious Concerns about Albion College and its President Mathew Johnson

Written by John Face

October 20, 2021

Editorial

As a rule City Watch will not post letters to the editor or submissions where the author is anonymous. We feel the reader deserves to know who is writing a submission. There are times such as these that some anonymity is required and this document falls into this category.

Below is a submission written by a few individuals whose identity needs to be protected. The authors are local citizens and College staff who could lose their jobs should they be linked to this. City Watch NEWS has had no hand in this document and received it just two hours ago. We do know the authors and we will protect their identity.

City Watch has reported at length on some of the items listed below and understands the plight of staff and students of what is occurring at the College. Please take a moment and read the following:

Save Albion Manifesto: Keeping Our Albion Fair


14 Points Issued October 20, 2021
Albion, Michigan


FIRST: We are hundreds of people crying out for help and demanding better Albion
College leadership.


SECOND: This is not a personal vendetta or smear campaign against Mathew Johnson.
This is the hundreds of us united in protecting Albion College from:
• further loss of reputation
• further draining of talent that has seen 70+ College employees depart due to toxic work
environment created by Mathew Johnson
• continuation of the unsustainable admissions discount rate
• continuation of unsustainable endowment spending
• decreases in enrollment due to public fights, public humiliations and instability in
Admissions
• further decreases in donations due to sinking reputation and donor confrontations with
Mathew Johnson and his Chief of Staff
• pilfering of College budgets for pet projects
• online public humiliations in news media and other platforms
• erosion of goodwill toward the College in the Albion community built up over the past
three decades


THIRD: We are not resistant nor opposed to change, nor are we revolting against it. We fully
support the goal of dismantling systemic racism and fostering a better, more inclusive, more
diverse Albion. We fully support measures enacted under Mauri Ditzler and Mathew Johnson
aimed at accomplishing this.


FOURTH: We oppose the polarization, animosity, hatred, toxic culture, and
confrontational actions and character emanating from Mathew Johnson each day he is
president of Albion College.


FIFTH: We are not racists. We condemn racist actions and ideology, including those of
Mathew Johnson, and we will always do so.


SIXTH: We condemn these and many other actions: Mathew Johnson purposefully driving a
wedge between previously united communities of Albion to achieve his desired ends; the
description of the Build Albion Fellows (local, mostly BIPOC students on full scholarships) as
“freeloaders”; the buying of the votes and influence of elected officials; the weaponization of
race in this diverse and integrated community; the villainization of our friends and neighbors; the
fear and toxic work environment Mathew Johnson has created on campus; the use of nontrackable
modes of communications among Mathew Johnson and his allies; the lies and
mistruths he spreads on a daily basis; his bullying and coercion of staff, faculty, students,
government officials and others; the labelling of donors and alumni as racist, affluent, white and
privileged (often without having met or seen them, heard about their lives, or learned whether
they are BIPOC) by Mathew Johnson and his Chief of Staff in conversations with them; the
characterization of white Albion residents and his opponents as racists; the widespread erosion
of public trust in our school bond campaign, the placement of a new Albion elementary school,
the Board of Education, the Albion City Council, and other entities and initiatives directly tied to
the overreach of Mathew Johnson; and too many other ethical crimes to note.


SEVENTH: We are many, we are diverse, we are everywhere, and we are growing. We are
students, faculty, staff, residents, alumni and donors of Albion College. We are businesspeople,
civic and nonprofit leaders, family members, and everyday citizens. We are social justice
warriors and anti-racism agitators. We are independent free-thinkers and front-line protestors.
We are Republican Party donors and Democratic Party stalwarts. We are Black, white,
Hispanic, Native American, Asian, immigrants, LBGTQ+, and all ages, religions, and abilities.


EIGHTH: But we are more than society’s labels. ALL OF US are dedicated to the fight for
racial and social justice and an inclusive, diverse, and equal Albion and Albion College.
NINTH: We are not a “small group.” Our numbers have grown to the hundreds, and each of
us is contributing to the battle to save Albion College and the Albion community from the
polarizing actions, ethical crimes and self-serving character of Mathew Johnson.


TENTH: We are not silent. We have been telling our stories, speaking our truths with friends
and strangers, taking notes, sharing satirical memes, and documenting the ethical wrongs,
cruelty, toxicity, and overreach of Mathew Johnson and his hired hitpeople ever since it became
clear he was here only for the benefit of Mathew Johnson. Again, this is not a smear campaign
nor vendetta against one man. We are using time-honored techniques to convey truths about a
troubling situation and an unscrupulous man who is doing far worse in his efforts to smear and
malign members of the campus and Albion communities.


ELEVENTH: Due to actual written and spoken threats of retaliation from Mathew
Johnson, many of us fear for ourselves, our families and our livelihoods if we come
forward. Mathew Johnson has threatened to ruin the lives of some of us, to contact our current
and future workplaces—and worse—and the evidence of this has been passed to people who
should be concerned and can make a difference.


TWELFTH: We love Albion College and the Albion community. Many of us were born here,
have raised our families here, and probably will die here. Many of us are Albionians who have
adopted the town and campus as our own. We work, sleep and live on campus and in town
every day. Many of us return to Albion for homecomings, reunions, special events, sports, to
visit friends and breathe in this beautiful space on the Kalamazoo River.


THIRTEENTH: We have nothing to gain but saving the soul of our College and town. We
will not give up this fight until Mathew Johnson is removed. We will continue to strive—for racial
and social justice in Albion and on campus, for a better Albion, and for the common good—as
we did long before Mathew Johnson arrived and as we will long after he is gone.


FOURTEENTH: We will never give up, and we will prevail.

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