Message from Interim Vice Provost Ng | May 30, 2020
Dear Campus Students, Staff, and Faculty,
Our institution’s stated commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion mean little if we cannot clearly condemn and combat anti-Black racism and violence. As the recent experience of Christian Cooper while birdwatching and murders of Ahmaud Arbery while jogging; Breonna Taylor while sleeping; and George Floyd while pleading simply to breathe powerfully remind us, the manifestations of such discrimination are simultaneously routine and egregious. The death of Tony McDade also reminds us that transgender people of color are subject to even greater risk of violence. These current tragedies are only a few examples of racist acts arising from unjust systems, deeply engrained biases, and long historical legacies. Amidst the present pain and trauma many are feeling—on top of a global pandemic and increasingly divisive political climate affecting this country—there is much to be done.
Let’s make it a priority right now to sustain and care for ourselves and each other. Many of us find comfort and sustenance in community, so please watch in coming days for opportunities to virtually convene in affinity based and other community conversations. Continue to connect and find support also through the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA), the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity (ETC), the Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity (SGD), and the network of Faculty and Staff Councils.
Additionally, let’s (re)commit to realizing our values in action. This includes the teaching, research, and service endeavors many of us are already doing across campus and beyond. However, I hope we are further compelled to individual and collective participation in frank conversations and continued education; peaceful protest and sustained, strategic agitation; and coalition-building that leverages enduring change. In the spirit of such action and engagement, here are a few initial offerings:
Jennifer Ng, Ph.D.
Interim Vice Provost, Diversity & Equity
Professor, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
The original version of this letter did not include the death of Tony McDade. It was updated to acknowledge the disproportional violence committed against transgender people of color.