Dear College of Pharmacy Family,
As this semester and full-term academic year come to a close, we wish to acknowledge that we’ve had to experience, confront, and actively survive so much as a community, with respect to the pandemic and beyond. In our intentional efforts to remain tethered to our values and commitment to diversity and belonging, we’d be remiss to ignore how our uniquely beautiful identities have also been impacted. Whether directly or indirectly, we bore collective witness to behaviors and actions in our world that have tested our resilience.
As a larger national community, we’ve seen and experienced the hurtful, bigoted “othering“ of members of our Asian/ Asian American community and immigrants, through xenophobia and racism. We’ve seen the devastation of anti-Semitism through vicious attacks on our Jewish community and their places of worship. We’ve seen the continuation of the senseless brutal slayings of unarmed Black men and women while simply playing video games or jogging for exercise, among other non-threatening activities. We’ve seen several gender non-conforming and transgender members of community violently killed simply for daring to exist. Of course, these examples speak to only a few, but the impact continues to loudly reverberate- disrupting a sense of safety, peace, stasis, and belonging for many of us.
Still, we wish to resolutely affirm each and every one of you. We see you. We value the diversity of our community, and YOU matter. While reaffirming our ability to choose unity and each other in our collective efforts to thrive, we will also remain committed to supporting you. In that, we denounce racialized violence and bigoted injustice. After all, it is the diversity of our differences that make us an outstanding College of Pharmacy.
Skyller Walkes, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Diversity and Inclusion