Dear UConn Engineering Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni,
The appalling death of George Floyd has again underscored the ugly reality of racial injustice in our country. This horrible event comes in the midst of a pandemic that is disproportionally affecting African-American, Latinx, and Indigenous communities, and prejudice against individuals of Muslim faith and Asian descent is growing. The resulting pain and agony is tearing our nation apart.
President Katsouleas and Provost Lejuez in their recent statement ( https://today.uconn.edu/2020/05/message-uconn-community/ ) expressed the anger and the sadness that the University community has experienced as a result of the events of the last few days. They reinforced our collective commitment to the values of social justice, equity, and inclusion. As a School, we share this commitment and strive to model and practice these values every day. To those in our community who are black: we cannot begin to imagine what it is like to live in fear for yourself and for your loved ones. To everyone in UConn Engineering community: reach out to your students, friends, and colleagues and show your concern and love. Ask how you can be a better advocate and ally.
In the coming weeks, we will be reflecting on how we, as friends, colleagues, and educators, can better support and advocate for our Black peers and others victimized by social injustices. Doing so is the first step towards more effectively representing the values of diversity and inclusion that are our community’s core values. But we will not stop there. As engineers, our strength is designing, developing, and implementing approaches that maximize outcomes and impact. We will draw on this training to collectively engage our students and our wider community in the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives that will allow us to deliver on this commitment.
We ask you to join us in the hard work of making our community — and our world — a safer and more equitable place for all.
School of Engineering Dean and Associate Deans: