Posted on May 31, 2020
Like all of you, I have been watching the impact of centuries of racism and violence against BIPOC in this country, culminating in the most recent deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and the nationwide protest demonstrations that are ongoing. This is all in a time when we are dealing with COVID-19 that is also clearly exposing social inequities and putting BIPOC at great risk.
This is a time when we need to recognize and listen to the experiences of regular hatred and judgement experienced by people of color, just for leaving their house, expressing their views, trying to conduct the business of living, and being in public spaces. In our own community, in our department, we have employees, graduate students, and undergraduate students who experience this every day as part of their life and career.
This is a time that reminds us to listen to them, to commit to learning and confronting racism in all its forms and especially, to deeply commit to our efforts to promote and maintain diverse communities at the University and beyond. It is not enough to recognize there is a problem. We need to listen, to have very difficult conversations, to incorporate the discomfort into honest conversations about race and culture. We need to participate actively in the many opportunities that address equity and diversity and inclusion on campus in our community. I am doing this work too.
Please stay safe and please try to be mindful of the experiences and lives of people around you, in our department, the students we teach, and in our community. Black lives matter and BIPOC and LGBTQ+ lives and lived experiences add so much to our department and make UNCG the place that we all love so much.