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.
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
- International Student Solidarity Statement
- Statement from the Department of Geosciences
- Statement from the Department of Psychological Sciences
- Message from The UConn Foundation to the UConn Community
- Message from Department of Molecular and Cell Biology
- Statement from First-Year Writing Program in Support of Black Lives Matter
- Statement of Solidarity from the UConn Digital Media & Design Department
- Message to the Neag Community from Neag School Equity and Social Justice Committee
- The UConn Rudd Center is Committed to the Fight For Health Equity and Against Systemic Racism
- Message from The Dodd Center & Human Rights Institute on Black Lives Matter
- A Message from Dean John Elliott
- Statement from Centers, Institutes, and Programs on Racial Injustice and Ending White Supremacy
- Message from ODI In Support of Racial Justice
- Letter to UConn Health Family
- The Time for Love, Kindness, and Courage
- Public Statement from Africana Studies Institute on Anti-Black Violence
- Message from Dean of CLAS on Racial Injustice
- Message from the English Department on Anti-Black Racism
- Statement to the UConn Avery Point Community in Support Against Racism and Violence
- Message to the CAHNR Community on Racial Injustice
- Message from Student Activities and the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Development
- Message from UConn Athletics
- Message to the Neag School Community from Dean Kersaint
- Message from President and Provost on Racial Injustice
- Joint Letter to the UConn Community on Anti-Asian Racism
- Message from President for International Students
- Nursing House: Anti-Racism Statement