August 28, 2020
The heart-wrenching news of yet another shooting of a Black person involving law enforcement is a painful reminder that systemic racism remains firmly rooted in communities throughout America. Seeing the shooting of Jacob Blake poured salt on the unhealed wounds that are a result of generations of trauma. This pain was further exacerbated by the shootings of three protesters in the night that followed. Simply put, we are immersed in turmoil and in need of a course for change.
My heart breaks for the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives and the individuals who were injured in Kenosha, WI. While many of us have recently taken specific steps to address the ills of systemic racism and oppression, the events in Kenosha are a reminder that we have much work to do. The collective and pervasive inequities and injustices that routinely advantage some and routinely disadvantage people of color, particularly Black people, is a reality that needs our full attention and action.
As a learning community, we must all examine our role in actively stewarding an equitable and just society, and we must heed the call to action and endeavor to advance racial justice. The Office of Diversity and Inclusion stands ready to provide both support and training to all stakeholders in our effort to progress social justice. To this aim, our office is implementing a University-wide anti-racism education series that will launch this fall. In the immediate future, we extend an invitation and encourage diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners to join us for the Inclusion Network gathering on September 9 at 11a.m. EDT, as we convene members of the broader Pitt DEI community to ignite collective action. We stand together in partnership with other University and regional community members committed to advance an anti-racism agenda and the work towards fostering an inclusive, equitable, and just community for all.
I extend my condolences and personal prayers to the families of Jacob Blake, Anthony Huber, Joseph Rosenbaum, and Gaige Grosskreutz as well as to others impacted by this tragedy.
Yours in solidarity,
Clyde Wilson Pickett, EdD
Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion
University of Pittsburgh
Office of Diversity and Inclusion
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