Dear Members of the WashU Alumni Community:
Like so many of you, I am deeply grieved by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the many other Black Americans who have died as a result of police brutality or other racially motivated violence. Over the past several weeks, these events have demonstrated once again that racial inequities are strongly rooted in the fabric of our country and must be addressed head-on.
Racism—and hatred in any form—has no sanctuary in our Washington University community. We stand with our Black alumni, students, faculty, and staff. To read Chancellor Andrew Martin’s June 10 message to the university community, please visit his website. To read messages of support from other university leaders, please visit the university’s Diversity & Inclusion website.
We know that many of you have experienced racism and the pervasive effects of racial injustice throughout your lives and that recent events have re-opened wounds that never healed. If I may, I would like to encourage you to take good care of yourselves and prioritize your own healing and well-being.
Collectively, we must look for ways that each of us can be a force for change. And many of you are. You are looking within yourselves and grappling with your own unconscious biases. You are leading in your communities, workplaces, and families. You are engaging in difficult conversations. You are laying the groundwork for a better future. We have heard many of you share your strong desire for the university to address racial inequity and injustice in our own community and in the St. Louis region. Please know we have received your messages, and we are listening.
As we move forward, we are committed to providing opportunities for members of the Washington University alumni community to engage in meaningful dialogue. We are working to develop programming that challenges us to have candid conversations and work toward sustainable solutions. And perhaps most important, we pledge to listen to and learn from our Black alumni and all alumni of color:
- If you would like to share a story about your experience as a student at Washington University or your engagement with the university as a graduate, we invite you to do so here.
- If you know a graduate who is leading in the fight against racism and would like to suggest that individual for future events or panels, please submit names and stories here.
Please take care of yourselves—and one another—in these difficult times.
Pamella A. Henson
Executive Vice Chancellor
Center for Diversity & Inclusion Self-Study Guides
These guides feature videos, articles, courses, and other resources to help you begin or continue your education on issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Center for Diversity & Inclusion Virtual Programming
Many of the events sponsored by the center are open to all members of the university community, including alumni.