Dear School of the Arts Community:
I write to you in the midst of the deep pain and understandable outrage many at the School, the University, in this country, and around the world are feeling as a result of the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. The protests we are witnessing across the U.S. are in response to these killings and to the many other abuses, injustices, and indignities that have been visited upon people of color, particularly upon brown and black people.
I echo the deeply thoughtful messages you have received from President Lee Bollinger and Executive Vice President for University Life, Suzanne Goldberg. We are all heartbroken, devastated, and deeply upset to see what is happening now and has happened too often in relationship to race injustice in the U.S. throughout its history. We know that many of you are suffering all that has happened greatly. It is a time for clear and strategic thinking about the future of this country and for open discussion and debate about the way forward. It is also a time to stand together as a community in kindness to each other, in recognition of difference, and in the spirit always, of compassion.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to Counseling and Psychological Services or Religious Life for support. If you or someone you know has experienced bias, please contact our Dean of Student and Alumni Affairs, Laila Maher. Also contact Student Conduct and Community Standards for questions or concerns about discrimination. For a full list of resources, visit https://universitylife.columbia.edu/student-resources.