Dear Liberal Arts community,
Like many of you, the actions caught on video during the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis have sickened and dismayed me. And this is just the latest example of institutional and systemic structural violence against people of color in our nation; previous examples include Dreasjon Reed, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many more.
In the IU School of Liberal Arts, we denounce racism, hate, and bigotry in all its forms. We especially denounce police brutality because it undermines our belief in a society built on the values of respect and dignity for all people. In this, our values are in line with those expressed by Chancellor Paydar in his May 30 message to the IUPUI community.
At times like this, it is important that we stand together in unity and show that it is not just abstract principles like justice and fairness for all that we support. We also support and express solidarity with our Black faculty, staff, students, and community partners who are hurting right now and who, like all people, have a right to feel safe inside and outside of their communities and to see their rights as citizens protected.
As a school, we have made important strides in the past couple of years in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion–from our vote to institute a standing Diversity and Inclusion Committee that would hold us accountable for the diversity goals we set for ourselves, to the development of a new Pathways Minor that addresses issues on diversity, inclusion, and social justice. We remain firmly grounded in the mission and vision of the School of Liberal Arts Diversity Statement:
Mission – In our school, we believe that educational excellence is directly tied to our ability to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community. We promote inclusive values through scholarship, teaching, service, and community engagement. We are committed to an ongoing inclusive climate based on mutual respect, appreciation of others, open-mindedness, and free inquiry.
Vision – Our vision is to create and uphold models of diversity, inclusion, and equity on our campus and beyond. We are committed to the principles of diversity, inclusion, and equity for all.
As the nation and world respond to the recent inhumane activities, we are forced to not only reflect on the barriers faced by our minoritized and underserved constituents but also to consider the work that needs to be done and the actions we need to take to ensure equity. As Dean, I am committed to working with you to collectively support our Diversity and Inclusion Committee to achieve the diversity goals outlined in our recently approved diversity statement.
I ask you to join me in condemning systemic violence and seeking answers to this and other problems we face as a school, a community, and a nation.