I, like so many of you, have been watching the protests that have developed around the country following the tragic death of George Floyd with a great many emotions. There is so much pain, anguish and frustration for the black and brown lives lost and for the lack of progress our country has made in addressing issues of social justice and racial equity. My heart is aching for the families of these victims, everyone in their communities and the people who have expressed their frustrations and anger in protest. My hope is that from this expression of outrage, we will see productive action and tangible change.
I want to echo the sentiments shared by President McRobbie and Vice President James Wimbush over the weekend and to affirm that IU South Bend does not tolerate any acts of racism, bigotry or prejudice. Nearly one-third of our student population is students of color and IU South Bend as a community is committed to promoting equity, diversity and inclusion in all we do. There are many ways our commitment to these principles is demonstrated. For example, leaders in Student Affairs & Diversity and Institutional Equity & Inclusive Excellence are launching a campus wide Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee that will bring increased visibility and voice to these critical issues. We recognize like many other higher education institutions, while we have done much, we still have more to do.
In the community, our Civil Rights Heritage Center (CRHC) has played a vital role in providing a safe space for discourse and dialog around racial and social justice issues in the past and it will continue to do so now and in the future. Please read their statement and visit their website to learn more about the history of racial injustice in our community as well as programs, events and resources provided by the Center.
Diversity and inclusion are foundational to IU South Bend’s mission. Our community will continue to live this mission as we work together towards a more equitable and just society.
– Susan Elrod, Chancellor