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University emphasizes equity, opportunity and self-care following Floyd trial

University emphasizes equity, opportunity and self-care following Floyd trial

APRIL 21, 2021 — Editor’s note: The following message was sent via email today from President Taylor Eighmy and his cabinet to all faculty, staff and students: 

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.

  • Group counseling sessions offered by Counseling and Mental Health Services, including an upcoming session focused on Healing Racial Trauma offered at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 27.

  • Individual counseling sessions for students can be scheduled through Counseling and Mental Health Services to help those experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression and stress. Individual counseling sessions for faculty and staff can be scheduled through the Employee Assistance Program.

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.

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UTSA targets Hispanic success through new leadership council

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.