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A Unified Statement from the SGPS Community on Racial Inequality and Injustice

As a community of scholars and individuals with unique life experiences, the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (SGPS) collectively denounces and condemns racial inequality and racial injustice in all its forms and manifestations. We acknowledge that racism is systemic throughout our society and diminishes human lives. Yes, Black Lives Matter! Decades of research, statistics, and lived experiences leave no room for argument that the effects of racism produce poverty, significant disparities in healthcare, racially-based inequalities in the application of law and resulting incarceration, to cite just a few examples of its effects. Racism engenders fear. It diminishes the quality of education and is antithetical to the principles that underpin graduate education.

As such, responsibility for addressing racism lies with all of us. As members of the SGPS community, it is our responsibility to speak, to listen, to address racism directly and immediately when it occurs. It is our responsibility to educate ourselves, reflect, challenge ourselves, and act to change the status quo. And as a collective member of the communities in which we live, we seek to reduce racial inequality and racial injustice in our greater communities in any way we can.

SGPS has always and will continue to fully support the expression of diverse opinions from people of diverse perspectives and worldviews to effect change. It is through shared discussion and both our shared and unique experiences that we understand our diversity and are able to advance change in a meaningful, sustainable manner. In this shared discussion, we have the responsibility to fully respect everyone in our community and ensure that members of our community are not marginalized.

SGPS maintains that systemic racism exists in our society, and because of the extent to which our learning environment is part of the greater community, racism in its various forms also exists here. We also maintain that we are able and will endeavor to meet the challenge of engaging in honest, productive discussions and actions that lead to effective, meaningful, and sustained change.