Striving for equity and opportunity
We write to you with mixed emotions following yesterday’s verdict in the George Floyd murder trial.
While the conviction of Derek Chauvin may bring some sense of accountability, it is difficult to suggest that justice is ever truly served when a life has been so wrongfully taken. The events surrounding the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo and countless others remind us that great challenges still lie ahead for our institutions and communities to overcome so many years of systemic racism.
There is no doubt that the death of George Floyd sparked a social awakening in our country, shining a brighter light on the Black Lives Matter movement. Communities across the nation began to acknowledge and understand the impact of systemic racism in our country—many for the first time. Sadly, the unfortunate reality is that our country does not treat members of the Black community and other people of color with the same sense of equality and fairness that we all deserve.
Practicing Self Care
We know ongoing events, especially the trial, have been challenging and continue to elicit emotional reactions for many in our community. We want you to know that UTSA is providing opportunities to help you process yesterday’s verdict and the emotional impact of racial violence:
- A community gathering for all students, faculty and staff will take place at 1 p.m. this Friday, April 23. This session for processing and healing is hosted by our Multicultural Student Center for Equity and Justice and Black Faculty Staff Association.
Individual counseling sessions can be scheduled through the Employee Assistance Program to help those experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression and stress.
Striving for Equity and Opportunity
As an educational institution, we are responsible for preparing future leaders who will go out and change the world. We also recognize that in order to achieve that mission, we must address systemic inequalities within our own institution.
While our words here are very important, our actions are even more so.
Last year, we launched our Equity Advocacy initiative, with the purpose of intentionally making diversity, equity and inclusion foundational across our entire academic enterprise, especially around components of our core curriculum. This initiative includes a broad array of elements, from expanding our Bold Promise program to refining our inclusive and diverse faculty recruitment practices. We look forward to updating you about this and other important initiatives over the summer and into the fall semester.
We are committed to our shared goal of creating a more just society. Together, let us move forward with this important work while we remember to take care of ourselves and one another.
Taylor Eighmy, President
Myron Anderson, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence
Bernard Arulanandam, Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Knowledge Enterprise
Lisa Campos, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics and Athletics Director
Kimberly Andrews Espy, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Joe Izbrand, Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications and External Affairs
Kendra Ketchum, Vice President for Information Management and Technology
Carlos Martinez, Chief of Staff
Rod McSherry, Interim Vice President for University Relations
Veronica Salazar Mendez, Senior Vice President for Business Affairs
Karl Miller-Lugo, Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations
Anne Peters, Associate Vice President for University Marketing and Special Projects
LT Robinson, Senior Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students