Dear VCUarts students, faculty, and staff,
I am writing to you today deeply saddened and distressed by the horrific and tragic incidents against Black citizens, including the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Atlanta, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and George Floyd in Minneapolis. Here in our own city of Richmond, we have witnessed two nights of protest, initially peaceful, but later ending with violence and property damage. Time and again, incidents like these—and so many others—remind us that social injustice pervades our society and of the daily injustices people of color in our community have to endure.
I echo President Rao’s statement: We must do better.
As a community that is grieving and in deep pain, we must remember our shared humanity. All people deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and fairness. And it is our responsibility as a community to ensure these basic tenets are upheld. We must work together to make sure that they are.
VCUarts’ leadership stands in solidarity with our students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and neighbors in Richmond, the Commonwealth, and the nation, who strive for equity, equality and justice. May we be inspired to come together in thoughtful and meaningful ways to demonstrate solidarity and unity in identifying real and substantial solutions to the injustices of the past and present.
Special Assistant to the Provost for VCUarts Qatar