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The College of Letters and Science shares the collective grief and anger over the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor by means of state-sanctioned violence. These deaths are hardly a new or unique phenomenon, as Black peoples and other people of color in our country have faced such violence for more than 400 years. Yet we also know that the particular context matters. The conjunction of long-standing economic and racial inequality, our nation’s history of racial violence, an ongoing pandemic, and our current political environment have served to create a national crisis that threatens the health of our communities and the viability of our multicultural and multiracial democracy.
The College of Letters and Science affirms its solidarity with Black faculty, staff, and students, and expresses its support for the millions of protestors in the United States and abroad who are working to change systems of inequality. We know that words of solidarity are not sufficient for this moment, and that we must translate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into concrete actions and policies.
We thus commit to a plan of accountable action that includes but is not limited to the following measures:
- We will work with increased vigor and urgency with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor to ensure that campus recruits superb teachers and scholars to fill the two open North Hall Chairs and to fully fund a North Hall Chair for Black Studies.
- In collaboration with CITRAL, the College’s Academic Success Centers, and other campus agencies we will identify resources to support students and instructors to fulfill our mission of serving the diverse students of the State of California.
- We will work with academic departments to develop strategies for improving equity and inclusion among faculty and in the classroom.
- We will redouble our efforts to recruit outstanding faculty through the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is one of our campus’s most effective tools for advancing faculty diversity.
- We will continue to pledge resources to support the UC-HBCU program.
- We call for the expedited appointment of UCSB’s new Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
We are resolved to stand with so many others in our campus community who work daily to ensure that UC Santa Barbara embodies our shared commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice.