Dear Carolina Community,
The University Office for Diversity and Inclusion condemns the continued acts of violence against Black people, especially Black men. It is important to support those who are working tirelessly to bring healing, equity, and justice for all Americans.
The most recent act of violence to gain national attention was the death of George Floyd by the actions of at least one Minneapolis police officer. Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than seven minutes ignoring his pleas of not being able to breathe. This occurrence is only the latest in a series of tragedies that comes on the heels of the following disturbing racial incidents of Black citizens:
- Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician, who was killed after city of Louisville law enforcement officers forced their way inside her home and erroneously shot her
- Ahmaud Arbery, who died during an afternoon jog by armed White residents in Atlanta who felt his being was a threat to their community
- Christian Cooper, a Central Park (NY) birdwatcher who kindly asked a White woman to follow the law by putting a leash on her dog, was harassed with racist threats and a phone call to the police
There are innumerable other traumatic cases that have yet to be publicized nationally. We respond to this continued news of injustice with heavy hearts, anger, sadness and a call of action.
As a society, it may feel as if abhorrent behavior has become the norm. The University Office for Diversity and Inclusion remains committed to fostering an environment whereby the personal rights, lives, and dignity of every member of our university community matters. While violent and seemingly unnecessary acts have been committed against Black people, it is our responsibility as students, staff, and faculty to advocate, care, and support one another regardless of identity or culture. Systemic racism affects many race/ethnic demographics, and we challenge all of our community members to strive to become more informed and knowledgeable about race and racism.
The University Office for Diversity and Inclusion seeks to unite our Carolina community through a shared expression of our collective outrage, voices of conscious perspectives, and resources for action. Your voice matters. We have made this space available so that you may share anonymously your thoughts, perspectives and feelings on what is happening in our country. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO COMPLETE THE FORM BELOW.
Sibby Anderson Thompkins, Ph.D.
Interim Chief Diversity Officer
Gretchen C. Bellamy, J.D./LL.M.
Senior Director, Education, Operations & Initiatives
Here are just a few of the many resources and readings on systemic and structural racism:
- Glossary for Understanding the Dismantling Structural Racism/Promoting Racial Equity Analysis
- How to Be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi, who spoke at UNC’s African American History Month Lecture in February 2019
- Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice, Paul Kivel
- Towards the “Other America”: Anti-Racist Resources for White People Taking Action for Black Lives Matter, Chris Crass
- Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled and How to Work for Change, Angela J. Hattery