I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge the wave of emotions we are all feeling. Our nation has been shaken by the tragic death of yet another unarmed Black man, George Floyd. This brutal event, followed by protests by those who are grieving, has now led to a level of violence that has been shocking to all of us. A great many of us are experiencing pain, fear, anger and hopelessness. Let me assure you, that the leaders of UC ANR, including myself, stand firmly by our values of diversity and inclusivity and denounce all forms of bigotry. To those within our community who have suffered from such bigotry, we stand with you and with everyone who stands against racism, racial profiling, police brutality and injustice.
I strongly support the statement released by President Napolitano and Regents' Chair John Perez on behalf on the UC system. Among other points, it recognizes that silence is complicity: “No matter how difficult, we must individually and collectively reflect on the lives lost unnecessarily, and address head on the systemic problems and challenges we all face as a society.” President Napolitano further stated that one of UC's bedrock principles is “…that all people are equal and deserve to be treated fairly and respectfully. We all deserve to live, work and go about our lives without fear."
Although we may feel hopeless and despair, we can be part of the solution. As stated in our UC ANR Principles of Community: “Members of the far-reaching UC ANR community have the right to work in an environment that promotes fairness, trust, respect, and physical and emotional safety and security.” Such principles are not just for the workplace, they need to extend to all interactions we have with others. Let's continue to take action and confront bigotry while striving to create the open and equitable society that we are all entitled to.
California's strength is its diversity; our UC ANR mission has always been to serve all segments of the state's population. I ask that everyone think proactively about how we can help our communities move forward. Whether you are helping small farmers reach new markets, preparing our youth to participate in civic engagement, helping limited-resource families access resources, or working on any of our many other wide-ranging programs, you truly make a difference in the lives of all Californians. You, the multi-talented ANR staff and academics, are responsible for that, and I deeply thank you for your work and dedication.
There is much work yet to do. The UC ANR Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Alliance is building institutional support for all UC ANR personnel to learn and contribute to these efforts. I hope you will join as well.
We care about every one of you. Please stay safe and be sure to care for yourself and your loved ones in this difficult time.
Best wishes and warmest regards,