Dear Faculty, staff and students,
The College of Arts and Sciences condemns the brutal killing of George Floyd. His death is the latest in a wave of police and civilian violence, rooted in anti-Black racism, that has also taken the lives Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade in recent weeks alone. These latest tragedies have catalyzed a collective reckoning with the long and ongoing histories of racial discrimination and injustice in this country. They have exposed a flagrant devaluing of Black lives increasingly emboldened in the present.
While we express our solidarity with the current protests and calls for justice, we recognize that it should not take a crisis of this magnitude to draw our attention to the complexities of systemic and structural racism, anti-Black racism and colonialism that continue to shape the lives of Black Americans. As we are moved to strengthen our commitment to change, we are challenged to confront the ways in which we have failed to alter the conditions that have made the Black Lives Matter movement necessary.
If we hope to truly stand in solidarity with African American students, staff, and faculty on this campus, we must do more. Our heartache in the current moment must translate into actions that center the aspirations of the Black communities at UB in all efforts to build a more accountable and inclusive institutional culture.
We decry the uses of excessive force against citizens protesting police brutality, anti-Blackness, systemic discrimination, and the erosion of civil liberties in this country. We renounce all efforts to criminalize and silence the crucial work of transformation that is underway in the streets of the cities and communities across this nation. Through this work emerges new possibilities that we will draw upon in moving towards a more just and equitable future.
Robin G. Schulze
College of Arts and Sciences
(Six Nations, Onondaga)
Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence