As we approach the end of spring quarter, we are confronted daily with news that brings grief, anger, devastation and trauma. Even as we attempt to emerge from a global pandemic lockdown, we are witness to the senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and other unarmed Black people.
And yesterday morning we learned that hours of peaceful protest on Monday against police violence ended with broken windows and looting of businesses in UW Tacoma buildings along Pacific Ave. It was only a small number of people who engaged in this property damage, and we do not know who they were. We reiterate our support for change through free expression and peaceful protest, and we also must understand the context in which this activity is occurring: frustration, helplessness and anger in the face of seemingly callous disregard for the present state of inequality and injustice in our communities.
All of us in campus leadership want you to know that we see the fear and uncertainty that is being felt by many, especially in our Black community. As Rickey Hall, James McShay and Wayne Au said on May 29, we are all here to uplift you and we are in community with you.
We want you to know that we strongly affirm the message from UW President Ana Mari Cauce, Provost Mark Richards and the elected leadership of the Faculty Senate calling on all UW instructors to be especially responsive to the needs students may have for accommodations as we conclude the school year.
We want you to know that we remain committed to moving forward on actions and goals highlighted in UW’s Race & Equity Initiative, which will be further informed by the recent UW Climate Survey findings.
We want you to know that resources are available to you should you need help working through the cumulative effects of trauma: the Center for Equity and Inclusion and Counseling and Psychological Services.
And, most importantly, we want you to know that we will win this battle for racial justice, equality and liberation.
Yours in community,
Mark A. Pagano
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Vice Chancellor for Advancement
Chief Strategy Officer
Assistant Chancellor for Equity & Inclusion
Assistant Chancellor for Community Partnerships
Vice Chancellor for Information Technology