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Monday, June 1, 2020

The anger, sadness, and fear felt by our community, and specifically Black communities across our nation, over the killing of George Floyd are justified. This is not a new phenomenon and the Black community is, we are sure, exhausted from the constant trauma and pain of being the recipients of mistreatment by those who are tasked with serving and protecting communities—the police. 

There is also disappointment, frustration, and pain due to the continued disproportionate police brutality against people of color, specifically the Black community. These inequalities manifest themselves economically and socially. No one should feel their race or any aspect of their identity makes them a target for violence. Addressing inequality requires changing hearts, minds, and systems, and the University of Iowa will continue to work toward that goal through actions. To that end, we will release an update to our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Action Plan, which our community has developed, this coming week.

Over the past several days, the images from across our nation are difficult to comprehend and elicit a range of feelings. While we will engage with these emotions individually, and on our own timeline, one thing is clear—together we must act. Each of us must lead change within our individual communities to actively disrupt racism (interpersonal, systemic, and societal).

As you know, on our campus and within our community:

  • We will not tolerate anything but a safe and inclusive campus for people of all backgrounds regardless of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, ancestry, or disability.
  • We value the First Amendment and freedom of expression and believe civil discourse and the respectful exchange of ideas are the cornerstones of higher education and this great institution.

We are here to help. Many resources are available and we encourage you to reach out and ask for help.

Campus resources
Equal Opportunity and Diversity, 319-335-0705
Office of the Ombudsperson, 319-335-3608               
Women’s Resource and Action Center (WRAC), 319-335-1486
Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP), 319-335-6000

Student resources
University Counseling Service, 319-335-7294               
Office of the Dean of Students, 319-335-1162  
Campus Inclusion Team, 319-335-1162             
Center for Diversity and Enrichment, 319-335-3555
Graduate College Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, 319-335-2144
Academic Support and Retention, 319-335-1497
Student Disability Services, 319-335-1462, TTY 319-335-1498       

Faculty and staff resources
UI Employee Assistance Program, 319-335-2085
Faculty and Staff Disability Services, 319-335-2660, TTY 319-335-3495

Together we are better.

Bruce Harreld, president
Montse Fuentes, executive vice president and provost