Reaffirming UAA's commitment to equity
by Cathy Sandeen, UAA Chancellor |
Dear UAA Community,
Recent national events have been traumatizing for many in our community. First, I want to acknowledge the hurt and fundamental anguish the news of George Floyd's unnecessary death has created. Our nation has a painful history of systemic racism and the ongoing struggles for justice for communities of color are real. The senseless death of a black man while in the hands of someone charged to protect the community is not just unsettling though, it is abhorrent.
Protests across the country over the last week have demonstrated the depth of the wound reopened by George Floyd's unnecessary death. Racial profiling and police brutality must end. I support our first amendment right to protest, for it is that powerful peaceful expression of discontent that helps start the kind of healing conversation our communities and this nation require. I am saddened and worried by the outside agitators who are using the protests to cause even more damage and division in communities across the country.
I am grateful to be a member of the UAA community. A hallmark of this university is our care for one another. We are not perfect when it comes to racial, social and economic equity, however.
Universities advance knowledge by serving as venues for important conversations about the world around us. UAA is a place where these important conversations occur. UAA's Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan is the starting point from which our new Chief Diversity Officer, Jennifer Booz, will begin her work in partnership with the steering committee and our entire community. Attached is the most recent update on these efforts. Additionally, the Center for Advancing Faculty Excellence (CAFE) will continue its work on the Difficult Dialogues initiative, designed to aid our UAA faculty and students in having conversations that matter.
As your chancellor I can say unequivocally that UAA is committed to moving toward true equity, and I am committed to the conversations that help us make the necessary changes.