Dear graduate students and postdoctoral scholars,
Over the past few days, our country has been gripped again with the murder of a Black man: George Floyd. In response, people in cities around the world took to the streets in protest. We know that this is not an isolated incident, but instead just the most recent example of systemic violence against people of color in our society, such as Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade. We hope you are taking some time to heal, teach and learn, organize, and exercise your First Amendment rights, even as you close out the spring quarter under unprecedented conditions.
Chancellor Gary S. May’s May 28 statement reflects powerfully on this moment, hopeful that “perhaps higher education can be that positive influence on lives beyond an education.” Graduate Studies is committed to building such a future with our community.
In the short term, the UC Davis Office for Diversity Equity & Inclusion has a page of resources that everyone can use to address racial trauma, including links to local and national advocacy groups, resources for self-care, and a call-to-action. UC Davis is also developing guidance for instructors, including those with TA or AI appointments, which will be sent out separately within the next few days.
In the longer term, we commit to working together toward solutions here at UC Davis and related campuses. Here in Graduate Studies, we recognize that we have work to do, and situations that we have to address. We believe it will be essential to get regular input from graduate students and postdocs. As a community, we must provide equitable and inclusive access to higher education to combat the social inequality that continues to exist at UC Davis, in California, and across the nation.
Organized violence against people of color is an injustice rooted deep in this country’s history. Addressing this injustice is also the work of generations, and our work today. This is a tipping point that we will be a part of--you, your program faculty and staff, and all of us at Graduate Studies.
Know that you can always contact Graduate Studies generally, and the Graduate Studies Diversity team specifically, at firstname.lastname@example.org who will respond to your query and share applicable resources.
Vice Provost and Dean, Graduate Studies