Confronting Injustice and Supporting Equity

Confronting Injustice and Supporting Equity

June 4, 2020

Dear Truman Community:

As protests continue across the country and around the world demanding justice for George Floyd (and many others) and an end to structural and systemic racism, these protests are happening during a time when the nation is still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The anger and anguish of another senseless death coupled with the known disparate impacts of the pandemic on communities of color make it clear that for our University that values diversity, inclusion and excellence and deplores racial injustice and inequity, the time is now to confront the legacies of the past, acknowledge the realities of the present, and do real work to achieve an equitable future.

Community has always been an essential component of Truman’s identity and “we are in this together” has been a rallying cry during the pandemic.  But community and “we are in this together” will ring hollow if we don’t work as a collective whole to address the current realities that challenge us and develop effective, actionable solutions.  I have great faith that our community will rise to the occasion to take the steps necessary to confront injustice and support equity.

It is not enough to issue a statement that racial injustice and inequity must end.  As a liberal arts and sciences institution, it is in our core to be the change we want to see in the world.  To be that change, we must start with being self-reflective about what we are doing well and where and how are we falling short.  We must acknowledge that racism exists at our University and in our community.  We must listen to our students, faculty, staff and community members of color when they are ready to share their truth.  We must take action and not stand silent. Unto that end, as a first step in our self-reflection process, please be on the lookout in the next few weeks for an invitation to a virtual town hall where members of our community can share their ideas for meaningful, sustained ways Truman can be the change we wish to see.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.

Best regards,