June 1, 2020
Re: In Solidarity
To: All students, faculty and staff
June 1, 2020
Dear Campus Community,
We feel both outrage and grief over the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. These are unconscionable acts of violence. Their deaths, and subsequent nationwide protests, once again present our country — and each one of us — with the imperative to confront the enduring legacy of slavery, segregation, racism and oppression in America.
It is not enough to make statements and extend our thoughts and condolences. The conditions that have led to unrest did not happen overnight. Institutional and structural racism have long persisted. There is a need for significant and long-term structural changes in policing, wealth distribution, health policies, voting and education, including higher education. As such, we fully support University of California Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and President Janet Napolitano’s May 31 UC statement on protests, violence following George Floyd’s death .
We have to work on ending the conditions that create injustice, conditions that are leaving our Black community dehumanized and their innocent lives taken. While the conditions of this coronavirus pandemic have us grieving, this grief must cause us to take a hard look and take action against violence, racism and oppression.
In order to create accountability, we share the following:
- The university denounces anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence. To continue to address systemic racism, the university will establish a task force on anti-Blackness and anti-Black violence effective immediately. This task force will include students, staff and faculty and will be co-led by Associate Chancellor and Chief Diversity Officer Dania Matos and Dean of Students Jonathan Grady.
- Counseling and Psychological Services will also be partnering with the Office of Social Justice Initiatives and Identity Programs (OSJIIP) and the Dean of Students Office to develop initiatives and resources around anti-Black violence, radical healing, and wellness.
- Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Nies will continue meeting monthly with Black student leaders to address their campus concerns.
- UC Merced’s Police Advisory Board meets monthly throughout the academic year and is currently planning its community engagement schedule for the fall. ASUCM and the GSA appoint new student members each year.
- We will be curating our efforts, which will be updated on the Learn More page as we push toward deeper understanding and genuine transformative action. The need for all members of the UC Merced campus community to join as allies to the Black community is imperative.
Some immediate steps on campus:
- Associate Chancellor Matos is planning community spaces where we can all come together for healing and learning how we can be transformative practitioners of change which will be communicated via campus wide communications.
- The Staff and Faculty of Color Association will have Dr. David N. Moore Jr. lead a remote healing circle for staff and faculty from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 3.
- The OSJIIP will host a healing circle from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 3.
- OSJIIP, the Office of Student Involvement, and the Dean of Students Office have partnered to bring Sharon Johnson, a Black CEO and motivational speaker, to facilitate a remote healing workshop. Specific details for both events will be communicated to the Black Student Union this week.
But this is where we all take a stand — in our administrative units, in our departments, in our labs, in our leadership and on our campus. This is not the work of one, but the work of all. We know that collectively is the only way.
Black lives always matter. They matter at UC Merced. They matter across our nation. They matter around the world.
In solidarity and in action,
Gregg Camfield, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Shayna Bennett, President, UC Merced Graduate Student Association
Sharon Butler, Assistant Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Planning and Budget
Robin DeLugan, Vice Chair and Incoming Chair, Academic Senate
Elizabeth R. Dumont, Dean of the School of Natural Sciences
Jeffrey W. Gilger, Dean of the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and the Arts
Jonathan Grady, Associate Vice Chancellor, Dean of Students
Elisabeth Gunther, Chief Campus Counsel
Thomas G. Hansford, Chair of the Academic Senate
Chou Her, Executive Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police
Thelma Hurd, Director of Medical Education
Chris Kello, Associate Dean, Graduate Division, incoming Interim Dean, Graduate Division
E. Edw. Klotzbier, Vice Chancellor, Chief External Relations Officer
Ann Kovalchick, Associate Vice Chancellor, Chief Information Officer
Haipeng Li, University Librarian
Paul Maglio, Director of the Division of Management and Information
Michael McLeod, Vice Chancellor, Chief Operating Officer
Laura Martin, Assistant Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, Finance and Administration
Dania Matos, Associate Chancellor, Chief Diversity Officer
Teenie Matlock, Vice Provost, Faculty
Mark Matsumoto, Dean of the School of Engineering
Charles Nies, Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Luanna Putney, Associate Chancellor, Chief of Staff to the Chancellor, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer
Michael Riley, Interim Vice Chancellor, Chief Financial Officer
Kurt Schnier, Associate Provost, Academic Planning and Budget
Rich Shintaku, Special Assistant and Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
David Snyder, Chair, UC Merced Police Advisory Board
Sam Traina, Vice Chancellor, Research and Economic Development
Marjorie Zatz, Vice Provost, Dean of the Graduate Division, incoming Interim Vice Chancellor for Research
James Zimmerman, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education