The following message was shared with the campus community on May 29.
A Message From D'Youville Regarding Racial Injustice
Buffalo, New York – June 03, 2020 – The racial climate in this nation has historically been and continues to be one that is not only unequal for people of color but, in many cases, dangerous. The term dangerous may in fact be an understatement as we consider the most recent death of George Floyd whose murder was broadcast across the internet. Acts like this are unfortunately not uncommon but the accessibility of social media offer the world insight into just how tragic our current society is.
This message is not meant to overshadow the challenges that other marginalized groups regularly face or the struggles that you may experience in your personal life. It is, however, meant to unequivocally state that D’Youville does not stand for the inequality, mistreatment, and killings of people of color and today is elevating this issue as a top institutional priority because it is literally a matter of life and death. We believe, as we take on this conversation, that we will also address the discrimination of other marginalized communities.
To our students and community members of color, we see you, we hear you, and we know that you are tired and angry. Please know that should you no longer have the strength to support yourself we are here to support you. The Division of Student Affairs, in partnership with the Division of Mission Integration and Office of Diversity and Inclusion, continue to be resources for you as you navigate your personal identity and look for resources and tools to help you advocate for yourself, for your peer group, and for others who may not look like you at all.
In addition to the already existing efforts to ensure cultural competency across our campus, the Division of Student Affairs will be welcoming their new Director for Student Development & Advocacy in June who, in addition to their work within The Park Advocacy Center, will be implementing a task force that works closely with the Student Government Association to create tangible efforts to address racial inequalities within our community here in Western New York and also across our society as a whole. This task force will be comprised of faculty, staff, and students of varying backgrounds but let me be clear when I say that it is not the responsibility of students of color to educate others on how to treat them equally and that will not be the expectation of this task force.
If you are interested in joining this task force and helping to direct efforts, please reach out to Benjamin Grant, Chief Student Affairs Officer, at email@example.com to learn more.
I appreciate the fact that a written message denouncing recent and historical events does not change what has happened and does not eliminate situations like the protests in Minneapolis, but I do hope that it helps to relay that university leadership knows that black lives matter and is here to help navigate the future.
We at D’Youville must never refuse to serve.
Dr. Lorrie Clemo, President
Benjamin Grant, Chief Student Affairs Officer
Joggeshwar Das, Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness
Dr. Jeremiah Grabowski, Dean of Online Learning
Nathan Marton, Vice President for Operations