A message to the UW Tacoma campus community
Not a day goes by that I fail to think how fortunate I am to be in community with you.
Those thoughts help me get through days like today, in which I am feeling anger and frustration that BIPOC interactions with police continue to result in unwarranted deaths. The brutal killing of Tyre Nichols is shocking and joins a litany of deaths of Black people at the hands of law enforcement. My heart goes out to the Nichols family and the people of Memphis.
The drumbeat of events seems relentless. We share profound grief and sadness that Lunar New Year has been marred by violence. And the shooting in Monterey Park, Calif., was just one of 41 mass shootings so far in 2023 as measured by the Gun Violence Archive.
Hateful messages spreading intolerance and fear even make their way onto our own campus. I am alarmed and concerned that anti-Semitic and anti-Black posters were recently found in public areas.
I want to assure you that we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding such messages, and our Campus Safety & Security and Integrated Facilities Management teams work assiduously to remove and report to law enforcement any material they find or that is reported.
The undercurrents of hate and intolerance in our society are why the work we do and our mission as an urban-serving university are so important.
We are stewards of this place, where the next generation of leaders is being formed. We can have a positive influence on that next generation. We have an opportunity to change the hearts and minds of people. That is what gives me hope.
We all have a role to play in supporting each other. For those of us, faculty and staff, who interact with students, I ask you to remember that students may be experiencing stress. Let them know that it is important to you that they feel supported in seeking help.
I know that many of you are engaging in work that centers a safe, accessible and inclusive community. On March 10, a professional development workshop for faculty and staff will provide support for building beloved communities through mindful communication. You can learn more and register here.
For those that are feeling the same emotional response that I am over recent events, please join me on Monday, Jan. 30, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at the Center for Equity & Inclusion for a communal gathering. There is no set agenda – it is simply a time to come together and share our concerns and hopes.
And if you need help coming to grips with your own feelings and emotions, we have services and resources that may be of help. These include, for students, Psychological & Wellness Services, MySSP and the Center for Equity & Inclusion; and UW CareLink for staff and faculty, their dependents and household members. Students, HuskiesCare is a resource hub with resources for many basic needs and concerns.
May we all know peace in this time.