Recently, our country received news regarding the grand jury’s indictment of one of the officers involved in the tragic death of Breonna Taylor. This is another incident that adds to the personal challenges and emotional toil many of us experience, especially those groups who have experienced being marginalized and oppressed. Though we cannot control specific legal proceedings, I have considered the areas that we can control. We can control how we respond as a community. We can continue to commit in practice, with scholarly focus and creativity, a commitment to building an inclusive college campus and call out injustice.
During the spring and summer months at CCS, we launched several Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives including Ignite: A Week of Social Justice Activism, Celebrate Diversity at CCS Blog, and our Virtual Sharing Circles. I was encouraged to witness our campus community actively engage during the Defamation Experience workshop and our Faculty Day of Training which focused on creating a more inclusive college environment. Teaming up with Harriet Speaks on equity and inclusion training and working across CCS departments, we are making strides towards advancing the college’s aspiration to be an inclusive and diverse place to learn. Some action steps have been implemented in these few months, but much more work needs to be done.
As we continue to process these events, I encourage our campus community to take time to reflect and explore equity, social justice and inclusivity through our newly launched DEI LibGuide: Overview - Diversity & Inclusion Resources, review the section dedicated to Voting in Federal & Local Elections and view Your Vote Matters video by Amy Lazet (Library) and Madie Graham (Communication Design Student and OIEI Work-Study).
To that end, I would like to invite you to join me during the Candlelight Vigil honoring the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless others over the course of our history who fell victim to unspeakably tragic and untimely deaths. This Candlelight Vigil is open for any member of the CCS community.
Please know there are available campus resources including the Wellness Center, the Office of Institutional Equity & Inclusion (OIEI), HR, Student Affairs leaders and staff, and others that can offer support. Connecting with others can be powerful and healing.
Let us work together!
Dr. Deirdre D. Young
Office for Institutional Equity & Inclusion