Our country has witnessed with horror the untimely deaths of George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, black men whose deaths have come even as we struggle to absorb the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on minoritized communities. All around us, people of color are dying at a higher rate, making further visible the structural inequities that pervade every area of the American experience.
As Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said, “These are things that have been brewing in this country for 400 years.”
It is easy to feel overwhelmed by these events and give in to despair. But we must not give up because we know that inaction supports injustice, inequity and racism.
We must deepen our work to make our community one where justice and equity are central to who we are. We must work towards equity and justice at Portland State, in Portland, in Oregon, in America, and across the world. It will take intentional and collective action to dismantle systemic structures of oppression.
We stand with communities in Minnesota and Georgia calling for justice, and we affirm our commitment to doing our own work to ensure that justice and equity are a core part of all of PSU.
Today, and always, black lives matter.
Stephen Percy, President
Julie Caron, Interim Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion and Title IX & ADA/504 Coordinator
Ame Lambert, incoming Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion