Statement on social justice and solidarity

June 01, 2020

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

Recently the names of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have been added to the long list of of Black and Brown victims of racially motivated murder. These are all cases of the abhorrent racial violence that still haunts our society. We are collectively pained and angered by police brutality and the life-threatening harassment of, and violence against, Black people. At this painful moment, when we are facing a global pandemic that has already exposed glaring social inequalities, we urgently need to rekindle our faith in community and the common good.

These events remind us that we in Rausser College must do more, individually and as a community of learning and practice, to acknowledge and address deep-seated discrimination and social inequities. We must collectively commit to stepping up to challenging racism in all of its forms—and, in particular, to push for structural change and the advancement of equity and inclusion in the college and on our campus. This will require courageous conversations and actions in our classes, labs, social hours, and family gatherings. It commits us to working toward social and environmental justice in, but also beyond, the university.

Let us — as faculty, staff, parents, students, and colleagues — together renew our commitment to actively stand against systemic racism, uphold the dignity of Black Lives, and indeed of all in our community, and create an inclusive environment in our college and campus.


David Ackerly, Dean
Isha Ray, Associate Dean of Equity and Inclusion