Dear Carolina Community,
This year has been one of the most difficult in our nation’s recent history. Along with enduring a global pandemic, we have witnessed widespread racial injustice in our country that also sparked outrage around the world. Though the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin forced everyone to relive George Floyd’s tragic killing, similar events that transpired prior to May 25, 2020, and into this week have forced us to, again, contemplate the unyielding pain and suffering faced by African American and Black people in our country.
As a community, we share in the pain, frustration and outrage over the abhorrent violence against African American and Black people who have been tragically killed by law enforcement. We stand in solidarity with our students, faculty and staff in working to end racial injustice.
Resources to support our community are available. The Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Carolina Black Caucus will sponsor a virtual Black Community Convening for African American and Black students, faculty and staff at noon tomorrow. Students, including graduate and professional students and post-doctoral students may contact the Dean of Students team, the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Counseling and Psychological Services or Student Wellness. CAPS also facilitates the Multicultural Health Program, including counseling and events for the BIPOC community. Faculty and staff should reach out to the Employee Assistance Program or access any of these resources for the BIPOC community.
We are grateful for the faculty, staff and students who have facilitated open and honest dialogue to help our community cope with far too many national tragedies this year. While we have begun new conversations, more work remains.
Moving forward, the University will continue to identify ways to promote belonging, accountability and transparency across the University. That is why the first initiative in Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good is so important. Through our collective efforts to Build Our Community Together, we aim to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, respected and included. We cannot fulfill our mission as a leading global public research university if these essential pieces are not in place.
To that end, the Campus Safety Commission, in coordination with the Chancellor’s Office, the School of Social Work, the Office for Diversity and Inclusion and Carolina Athletics, is hosting a Spring Collaborative event. We invite you to attend Headspace, Heart Space: Straight Talk about Navigating Race, Place and Complex Space at 1 p.m. on April 28. Ty-Ron Douglas, associate athletic director for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging at the University of California, Berkeley, is our guest speaker. He will address psychological and emotional safety and belonging and help us to have our own courageous conversations. We hope to see you there.
Please remember to lean on University resources and each other in these challenging times. The road ahead is not easy, but we have a steadfast commitment to continue taking steps to Build Our Community Together and advocating for lasting change.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz
Robert A. Blouin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Special Adviser to the Provost and Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion and Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Safe Spaces for Conversation
- If you wish to share your feelings and perspective, please visit the University Office for Diversity & Inclusion’s #yourvoicematters.
- The University Office for Diversity and Inclusion, in partnership with Student Affairs and the Center for Faculty Excellence, will host the “Culture of Care” series:
- Care in the Midst of Chaos: Providing Reasonable Flexibility – An unprecedented year has created the need for increased flexibility in our care for students, but what does this “flexibility” look like? Colleagues from across UNC will provide examples of “reasonable flexibility” in their work with students. Tuesday, May 25, 4–5:30 p.m. Register.
- The Carolina Union‘s Legacy Room (2nd floor) will be available through the end of the week (longer if needed) at the following times:
- Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Saturday, 9 a.m.–10 p.m.
- Sunday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
- REI Groundwater Training (prioritized for Campus Y Student Leaders, open to other students as space permits): Join the Campus Y for a virtual REI Groundwater Training co-sponsored by the Carolina Parents Council grant award and the Campus Y. The Groundwater Presentation is a three-hour introduction to Racial Equity. In this lively and participatory presentation, REI organizers will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant. Participation is limited. Confirmation will be emailed once your spot is secured. Register at http://tinyurl.com/CampusYREI.
Resources for the Campus Community
- The CAPS Multicultural Health Program is specifically dedicated to meeting the needs of students of color.
- Black Mental Health Resources (curated by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness) provides a variety of outlets to support your well-being at any time…but particularly during this time of crisis.
- In addition to student support, the Campus Health Health Education Conference Room (Campus Health Services, 2nd floor) will be open for caregivers and staff on Wednesday, April 21
- Numerous articles, videos, podcasts, books, websites, films, tv series, organizations and more can be found on our Anti-Racism Resources page to help facilitate dialogue.
Statements from Campus Units
- Adams School of Dentistry
- Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
- Gillings School of Global Public Health
- Graduate School
- Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development
- School of Law
- School of Pharmacy
- School of Social Work
- University Libraries