Dear UC Community,
I want to follow up on my recent statement on the senseless death of George Floyd, the insidious effects of structural racism and the deep-seated hurt, anger and anguish that continue to flow throughout our campus and ourbroader community.
Many of you have reached out with remarkably thoughtful messages on how we, individually and collectively, must do better. I personally want to thank each of you for teaching me what this moment means to you and to our community. I also want to thank those of you who have gone above and beyond to create welcoming spaces for listening, dialogue and support. This pandemic has been no match for your passion to serve others.
Before sharing some ideas on how our University will make a bigger difference moving forward, I want to say a few words about the context for our call to action. Our nation’s original sin of slavery still haunts us. Today’s hate, racism, brutality and health disparities are cut from the same cloth. But we must remember these inhumane realities exist only because we allow them to. We can no longer social distance ourselves from that simple truth. We have the ability—and more importantly the responsibility—to eliminate them in the here and now. Let’s not fail our future by allowing the passage of time to dampen our resolve. Not this time.
To members of our Black community, please know we hear you. We stand in solidarity with you to end this horrific cycle. We recognize our imperfections as an institution, and we remain committed to creating an environment in which all members are treated with dignity, respect and care.
As an institution of higher learning, we must answer the call for a higher contribution to society during these difficult and defining times in our nation’s history. To this end, we will focus our initial actions in three areas.