Dear UWM Faculty, Staff and Students,
Last Friday, I reaffirmed UWM’s commitment to supporting and protecting our diversity, equity and inclusivity. In the short time since then, we’ve seen our cities, region and nation erupt in protest in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police Department officer. Voice after voice has joined together to condemn decades of institutional violence, injustice and failures in our criminal justice system. And rightly so.
Let me be clear when I express, both for myself and campus leaders, our strong and clear solidarity in support of black lives and with those who are peacefully protesting. The time for successfully transforming our society is now. We support those who are peacefully protesting and the change they will bring.
Your voices are important, and we care deeply about making positive change.
What actions are we taking now to make a difference?
- We have been connecting our students, faculty, staff and others through the multicultural success coaches of the Black Student Cultural Center to ensure that safety and a sense of belonging are addressed, particularly as it relates to our African-American males.
- We continue to provide resources on how to engage in both individual and facilitated discussions around racism and anti-racist education.
- We continue to work with MKE Fellows, a program that focuses on African-American males before and after their entry to UWM. Contact Ray Anthony Fikes for additional information.
- We continue to support our ongoing African-American Male Initiative which serves as an important recruitment and retention tool.
What action will we commit to for the near future?
- Going forward and working in partnership with governance groups, we will institute mandatory anti-bias, anti-racism training for all members of the UWM family. More details on this will follow.
- To set the tone for future discussions around race, we encourage all to visit the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. This resource is an integral part of our ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion framework.
Once again, let me stress our unequivocally strong stance against racism, violence and oppression. Every person who sets foot on one of our campuses has the right to feel safe, respected and valued.
We see you. You matter. We care.
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee