Dear College of Liberal Arts Community,
We in this college work with words and pictures, music and movement, data and analysis to process and perfect the world we live in. But we live in times where words seem to fail, when images overwhelm, and the consolation and comfort of coming together is denied. We struggle to come together in a global pandemic, where many are sickened and dying due to a lack of access to healthcare and other services. We are seeing voices silenced by death and destruction in the streets around the country. The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many more of our Black and African American citizens weigh heavily on our minds and hearts. Like you, I am both sorrowed and angered.
It is our role as a college in this university to face these issues and not turn away or ignore the painful parts of our reality. We take seriously our mission: to advance the human experience. For all human beings. I know that you have been doing this through your studies, readings, and direct engagement with campus and community. These efforts are vital because racism exists and our inherited systems often betray our common humanity. Together, we must work to dismantle systemic racism and to contribute to the formation of a just and equitable society.
Our disciplines study the very things we are living right now and can guide us in a way forward. It won’t be easy, but it is what we are called to do.
If you need additional resources to learn more about anti-racism, inclusivity, and more, or about the many related groups and initiatives in departments, offices, and colleges at CSU, start with the Vice President for Diversity website. There you will find opportunities to share your voice, get involved, learn more, and support each other.
If you experience or witness an act of bias, you can report it to the Bias Reporting System.
If you need support services, look at the Keep Engaging webpage.
Ben Withers, Dean