Dear DCRP community,
We are sickened and outraged by the racist killings that have taken place recently and by the continuing violent legacy of racism and white supremacy in the United States. DCRP stands together with our Black community and reaffirms our commitment to fight racism and racial inequities produced by our own institutions.
In their message, the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor have called on us all to say the names of the recent victims: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, who were killed, and Christian Cooper, who was the victim of a racist attempt to use the police as a weapon; we add the name of Tony McDade, a Black transgender man who was killed on May 27. Black lives matter. We mourn the lives on the long list of people who have been extrajudicially murdered by the state. We acknowledge their humanity and commit to doing what we can to build a more just society. We do so in this difficult context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has produced immense loss and suffering that disproportionately affects those who are Black, indigenous, people of color, and poor.
At DCRP, our anti-racist work is ongoing, but much remains to be done. We know this work will continue to be complex and challenging, and we are committed to the long-term struggle for justice. We also want to encourage everyone, particularly students of color, to reach out to us any time with thoughts, concerns, and ideas. Your voices and needs are important and we are here to listen. As a start, consider sharing your ideas here.
We ask each of you to consider what personal and professional commitments you can make in the service of justice.
To our students and colleagues who are Black and brown we say: Your lives and careers matter profoundly to DCRP.
To our colleagues and students who are white we say: Racism is something created and sustained by white people to give ourselves an advantage over others. It’s our responsibility to understand and disrupt racism. Please, talk about racism with other white people in your life this week. Read or listen to How To Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. For more ideas about where to start in antiracist work, follow this link for a list of anti-racism resources.
Take care of yourselves and each other. Take the time you need to process this moment and to express yourself.
At this very difficult time, we know that members of our community may need support. We encourage you to review and use the wellness resources for students, faculty, and staff in the Chancellor’s message, below. We call on everyone to reflect on our campus Principles of Community and to focus on making specific, personal commitments to ensure that Black members of our community feel a sense of belonging.
Karen Chapple, Professor and Chair of City and Regional Planning
Teresa Caldeira, Professor of City and Regional Planning and Faculty Equity Advisor