Dear Sam Fox School Community,
On behalf of the Sam Fox School, I am writing about the horrific shootings and murders of eight people—including six women of Asian descent—in the Atlanta area earlier this week. This marks the latest tragedy in a year that has seen a rise in anti-Asian intimidation, violence, and hate crimes across our country.
The Sam Fox School strongly condemns these attacks and the racism that is being fueled by vile language, intolerance, and hatred. We recognize the tremendous pain, anger, and fear caused by these injustices, and stand in support of our Asian and Asian American students, faculty, staff, and alumni, all those impacted.
As a School, we are committed to fostering an environment built on a foundation of equity and respect. Led by our Fairness and Diversity Committee, our School came together last night for the Baselines II workshop to develop a civility code and to advance our efforts toward equity and inclusion, in order to ensure our diverse community is supported, respected, and able to thrive. So many beautiful ideas were shared that deeply resonated.
We truly embrace and value being an international community, and will continue offering these types of in-depth opportunities for education and critical reflection going forward for our faculty, staff, and students. To this end, we are also in the final stages of a search to hire a new assistant director for diversity, equity, and inclusion to advance these issues.
These investments of our time and energy are part of our fulfillment of the School’s mission to “create a more just, sustainable, humane, and beautiful world.” We have more work to do. As architects, artists, and designers, we must consider how our practices—as individuals and as a collective—actively deconstruct systems of oppression and intolerance.
As you care for yourself and your peers, remember that the University offers resources to support your mental health and well-being. Students can contact the Habif Health and Wellness Center, and faculty and staff can access employee wellness resources. We also encourage you to reach out to our Fairness and Diversity Committee and the Office for Socially Engaged Practice, who can provide additional resources in dealing with these issues.
Please continue to reach out to me directly with your thoughts, your concerns, and your ideas for how we can act on our School’s commitment to justice and racial equity.
Ralph J. Nagel Dean, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
E. Desmond Lee Professor for Collaboration in the Arts
William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
Director, College of Art and Graduate School of Art
Jane Reuter Hitzeman and Herbert F. Hitzeman, Jr. Professor of Art
Director, College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design
Sam and Marilyn Fox Professor
Professor and Chair, MFA in Visual Art
Professor and Chair, MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture
Associate Professor and Chair, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design
JoAnne Stolaroff Cotsen Professor and Chair, Undergraduate Architecture
Professor and Chair, Undergraduate Art
Professor of Practice and Chair, Graduate Architecture
Associate Professor and Chair, Undergraduate Design