The following message was emailed to Knight Campus staff, faculty, affiliates and students.
I’m sure the most recent incidents proving that racism continues to exist and tear at the fabric of our society are weighing on all of your minds as much as mine. Like you, I’m feeling anger, sadness, worry for friends, particularly those of color, and many other things but mostly I’m feeling a deep sense of frustration and my thoughts focus on what can I do or we do together to make a difference?
As a society, we’ve been down this road so many times and no matter how much training we implement, committees we form, or action plans we create, nothing seems to change the fundamental issue that people of color face fears and inequities that others do not. Perhaps that is too cynical but as an engineer at heart, my instinct is to try to solve problems and last week I was feeling simply helpless to do that. Maybe you’ve been having some of the same feelings.
There is no easy answer and no immediate solution but we can continue to push the boulder up the mountain, even if incrementally. The Knight Campus has articulated in its strategic plan a strong and clear commitment to cultivating a diverse and inclusive community. However, this is not enough. I challenge us all to think about additional actions we in the Knight Campus can take towards eliminating racism and racist behavior.
We will be scheduling a listening and brainstorming session for our community to discuss this topic. Breaking the silence in this moment and actively condemning any and all forms of racism are necessary but not sufficient steps forward. My hope is that we will do the hard work together to shape and continuously support a diverse and inclusive community where all feel welcome, safe, and equal.