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From June 4, 2020

Many of us have reacted in horror to the senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, and other recent acts of violence against Black Americans that have consumed the country. As a departmental community constantly striving to become more inclusive and supportive, we condemn racism and intolerance in all forms. Black lives matter, and black voices matter. The pain of these events has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and its disproportionate impact on people of color. Many of us are upset and concerned about the future. Let your students, colleagues, and mentees know that you are open to discussing this, and willing to listen. They may be struggling to focus on their work right now, as so many of us are.

We are committed to fighting conscious and unconscious discrimination within our department and in the broader world. Our community must be a positive force for change for marginalized people, from Black Americans coping with police brutality, to East Asians being targeted during the spread of COVID-19, to those quarantining under the threat of domestic violence, and many others. We aren’t writing this letter just to make a statement – there is work to be done, and we will be sending more information later inviting you to help us formulate plans for action. For now, we have appended resources for emotional support, self-education, and action below this statement.

Please stay safe and take care of yourselves and one another.

The Diversity Committee
(Artra Butler, Derrick Carr, Morgan Clark, Jon Engel, Isabella Ford, Julieta Gruszko, Sheila Kannappan, Amy Oldenburg, Mugdha Polimera, Frank Tsui, and Jennifer Weinberg-Wolf)


If you are struggling, we urge you to reach out to our department community and to some of these available resources:

If you want support to begin or continue anti-racist work:

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