Dear members of the GSAS community,
Racial injustice continues to destroy Black lives. For too long some of us have expressed our concerns and offered words of support, while often remaining quiet when called upon to make substantive change for justice. Institutionalized racism enabled atrocities like the horrific murder of George Floyd. The irrational, brutal, and unjust treatment of peaceful protestors by some law enforcement continues to assault our collective sensibilities and has inspired so many of us to break our silence.
We acknowledge that changing the racialized systems that some have thrived under, while others perished, has been a herculean task borne by the Black community. We must create space for the extreme and overwhelming grief and outrage engulfing many in our community, but we would be remiss if we also did not take this moment to pledge to you – that we must, and we will, do what needs to be done to advance justice. For many, this is a moment of urgency and we do not want to squander it with empty promises.
We recognize that we must do the critical work ourselves in order to facilitate these changes. To that end, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences commits to institutional transformation that includes all aspects of the GSAS infrastructure, environment, curriculum, and people, i.e. graduate students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Foremost, we commit to amplifying Black voices and the voices of marginalized communities within GSAS. We make this commitment as institutional change must be a reality for all communities that have suffered and continue to suffer. And, our promise extends to our many allies who have and continue to step up.
We pledge to you as well to undertake a different approach and substantive dialogues that lead to real and concrete change. We do not take lightly that we are making a big declaration. But it is clear that many have waited long enough for change, so let us get to it.
The GSAS Leadership commits to the entire GSAS community that we will: