Our community and events in Minneapolis and Chicago

May 30, 2020

To: Members of the University Community
From: Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Our community and events in Minneapolis and Chicago
Date: May 30, 2020

Our nation is confronting painful issues in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and a number of other racially motivated incidents. These recent examples represent a small fraction of the bias and violence that occurs across the U.S. and around the world each day. The deep alarm expressed by people throughout the country, including in our home of Chicago, reflects many decades of grief and anguish over the intractable scourge of racism against minority communities, particularly African Americans.

I know that many of you are feeling sadness, pain, and anger over these recent events. In these already difficult times, this is an occasion for solidarity and for a strengthened commitment to care for each other and work to improve our community, our city and, our nation. Even though most of us are separated by distance as this quarter comes to a close, our shared values bind us together to seek truth, value diversity, and strive for justice.

Diversity and inclusion are core values of our institution. We value every member of our campus community, and each of us should show respect for one another. The vitality of the South Side is fundamentally linked with that of the University, and we esteem the deep relationships and partnerships that the residents of the South Side and members of the University community have built together. Fostering a sense of trust, inclusion, belonging and safety for our faculty, other academic appointees, staff, and students is always a priority, and especially so during this time. In the coming days, there will be more information about opportunities for our community to come together in dialogue about these issues.

We also encourage you to access the many valuable University resources that may be helpful to you right now:

  • The Center for Identity + Inclusion engages students and members of our University community from all backgrounds to ensure personal, academic, and professional growth, and success.
  • Spiritual Life serves as a destination for religious and spiritual needs.
  • The Urban Health Initiative runs inclusive community grants and organizes a variety of community programs and services.

Thank you for the continuing work of people across our University to build a strong, supportive, and inclusive community.