September 25th, 2020 Statements


Dear UConn Students, Faculty and Staff:

We are living in perilous times! Every aspect of our lives is being ravaged by the dual threats of racialized violence and the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a university community, we are committed to creating campus environments that enhance, enrich and elevate the rich tapestry of diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of our beloved UConn community.

We abhor discrimination, bigotry, prejudice and acts of racialized violence and will not condone or tolerate acts that desecrate and disrespect any segment of our community.
As we long for peace, justice and healing, we mourn for Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Armadou Diallo, Ahmaud Arbery, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Atatiana Jefferson, Trayvon Martin, Stephon Clark, Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile, Sandra Bland, Jacob Blake and many others. May they rest in peace!

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion in partnership with the H. Fred Simons African American Cultural Center and the many University Schools, Departments, Centers and Institutes will continue to advocate for a beloved University community committed to Justice, Peace and Action.

In closing, may love fulfill you, may peace enfold you and may hope envelope you.

In Solidarity,

Dr. Frank Tuitt | Chief Diversity Officer | UConn Office for Diversity & Inclusion



To the UConn Community:

As you know, last weekend the word “Black,” in the “Black Lives Matter” message that was painted on the Spirit Rock on the Storrs campus was scratched out and replaced with “All,” altering the statement to read “All Lives Matter.”

We write to share an update: After reviewing the incident, including video footage in which the license plate of the individual responsible was visible, the university determined that the person has no known current connection to UConn – meaning they are not a student or an employee – and they do not live in Mansfield.

While we are relieved that the person responsible is not a member of our community, that doesn’t change what took place, which we saw as an unmistakable attempt to antagonize and demean people on our campuses, especially in the context of national events. We deeply regret the harm that this incident has had on members of our community.

After consulting with the state’s attorney’s office, it was determined that this harmful act didn’t constitute a crime under state statute and no charges would apply. Even so, painting the Spirit Rock is a campus tradition that is intended solely for UConn students and student organizations. We will update our policy on the rock to reflect this. While that by itself won’t prevent something similar from happening, it is our hope that it will give the university greater leverage in addressing it.


Franklin Tuitt, VP & Chief Diversity Officer

Michael Gilbert, VP for Student Affairs

Letters to the Community

The Office for Diversity and Inclusion will strive to post messages and important Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion updates that reflect the needs of our community.