In light of the recent George Floyd at the Hands of the Police, the Diversity Coordinating council offers the following statement.

This has been a long and agonizing week and a half in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  For many, our hearts are heavy.  It feels like an atomic bomb exploded, again. This time in plain view.  Many people are still recovering their senses after the blast. This is nothing new for black people. This is nothing new for anybody that knows oppression.  But few things in this life, have pierced so deep so fast. "I can't breathe". That knee in the neck. That knee without rage. That indifferent knee. That oppressing knee. That knee choking black people all the time.

Witnessing the same injustices happen over and over again is disheartening.  Sometimes it feels hard to be hopeful.  But it is unthinkable not to be.  We can never give up fighting for equality for all.  We must continue advocating for change.  George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland. More lives lost than we can list.  Their lives mattered.  Black lives matter.  People of Color's lives matter.  We cannot remain silent until our campus, our community, our country is safe and just for everyone.

Getting to this point in our racial disharmony has not happened overnight.  The roots go back to the beginning of this country.  And although many would like to turn our backs, ignore the disparity between the races, and pretend that it all went away during the Civil Rights Movement, we know that the truth lies just under the surface of the rugs that it is easy to sweep under and pretend not to see.  It is time to open up our eyes and begin to hold conversations about a topic that is difficult to discuss, but must be discussed if we are to increase our understanding which is a necessary prerequisite to building unity and harmony among all populations that make up our United States of America.

The Diversity Coordinating Council is joined by many of our faculty, staff, extension educators, and administrators who are eager to move us forward in conversation and in actions.  We will do this by continuing to provide education, resources, and support for students, faculty, and staff.  Know that we are here in case people want to discuss or have a safe space to vent.  But more than talking, we are asking that each of us sets aside time to increase our knowledge and reflect on the ways in which structural racism impacts our everyday lives and how we may contribute to dismantling structural racism.  We are asking that you then share your reflections and ideas and work with us to make change happen.  There are many excellent resources to help us in our journey.  Below is a set of resources shared by council members.  It is a great starting point.

Diversity Coordinating Council Members:

Katherine Cason, Paige Castellanos, Keith Diehl, William Elmendorf, Alex Hristov, Patreese Ingram, Derek James, Suresh Kuchipudi, Jenneth Layaou, Laura Leites, Renee Pusey, Erikka Runkle, Kalaia Tripeaux

Diversity Resources

Justice in June

Diversity Book Shelf:

  • The Fires Next Time – James Baldwin
  • Minor Feelings – Cathy Park Hong
  • America's Original Sin – Jim Wallis
  • The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
  • Good Talk – Myra Jacob
  • Blindspot:  Hidden biases of Good People – Mahzarin R. Banaji
  • So you want to talk about race – Ijeoma Oluo
  • How to be an antiracist – Ibram X. Kendi
  • Between the world and me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • I'm Still Here – Auston Channing
  • Stamped From the Beginning – Ibram X. Kendi
  • Color of Law – Richard Rothstein
  • The Warmth of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson
  • Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson
  • White Fragility – Robin Diangelo and Michael Eric Dyson
  • Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? – Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • This Book is Anti-Racist – Tiffany Jewell and Aurelia Durand
  • Mindful of Race – Ruth King
  • The Fire This Time – Jesmyn Ward
  • When They Call you a Terrorist – Patrisse Khan-Cullors

Updated: June 8, 2020