In our neighborhoods, nation, and world, we find ourselves in a historic moment in which we must reckon with ongoing and undeniable racial injustice. Such racial injustice also afflicts our campus and our community members.
As recent posts from current students and alumni on social media reveal, racist interactions occur casually and callously on our campus; they involve our students, staff, and faculty; they occur in various locations around campus; and they cause enduring pain and suffering.
We are writing today for two reasons. First, we write to express our deep regret for the pain and suffering members of our Lafayette community have experienced in these racist interactions. Second, we write not merely to invite or encourage—but to challenge—each of us—faculty, students, and staff—to take action to battle bias and racism on our campus.
Such individual action cannot substitute for institutional action, and the administration will be sharing an update soon on steps we are taking to combat racism within our institution and community.
Changing our own words and deeds is also critical to changing the culture, however. What are we challenging ourselves to do?
To actively and directly make our campus community more equitable and inclusive
To educate ourselves about the history and pervasiveness of systemic racism
To stop the denial of racism
To build our capacity for empathy and kindness
Join us in this challenge. We need you in our fight to end racism and bias, and to build a more inclusive college and community.
Members of the College’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, Bias Response Team, Office of Intercultural Development, Faculty Diversity Committee
Jamila Bookwala, dean of the faculty and chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council
Annette Diorio, vice president of campus life
Jennifer Dize, assistant dean of students
Karina Fuentes, assistant director, Office of Intercultural Development
Alex Hendrickson, College chaplain and director of religious and spiritual life
Jim Meyer, associate director and chief of police, Department of Public Safety
Mike Olin, dean of advising
Alma Scott-Buczak, associate vice president of human resources