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Dear SDSU Community,

Today in Minnesota, a jury in the trial of the murder of George Floyd found former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges.

I am reminded of the words of former National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda S. C. Gorman who, in her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” said: “But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith, we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.”

Now is our time, and it has long been our time, to strengthen our bridges and move forward, together.

In the words of California State University Chancellor Joseph I. Castro, who released a statement in response to the verdict this afternoon: “I believe that America is yearning for an inflection point, one that marks a turn toward healing, reconciliation and recovery. The CSU can serve as that inflection point. Our position as the largest and most diverse public university in the nation also makes us the most consequential university at this critical moment in our country's history.”

Live Together, Learn Together

We have the good fortune of being connected through our public university mission, which dictates that everyone — of every background and experience — is welcome. We must work through love, and we need always to come together through kindness. We are working against centuries of deeply-seated systemic racism.

And we each have individual responsibilities. We must ask ourselves — not just now, but always — how we can use our respective knowledge, networks and power to make a positive and lasting change. We must also acknowledge our inherent and unconscious biases and actively work to undo them.

I invite each of you to find an opportunity to meaningfully engage:

  • On April 23 and April 24, the Native Resource Center will host the Native and Indigenous Research Symposium, which is free and open to all. RSVP online.

  • On April, 30, from 2:30-3:30 p.m., we will honor the 2021 Diversity Excellence Awards, and the inaugural CDO Leadership Awards. We will celebrate the many ways we have advanced justice, equity, diversity and inclusion at SDSU. RSVP online.

  • On May 6, from noon to 1 p.m., the Campus Diversity Town Hall will be held. RSVP online.

  • At SDSU, our community pledged in 2019 to provide more direct and tangible support to help improve the lives of members of the Black community. Join those of us who have already signed the pledge, and commit yourself to action today.

  • Employee Resource Groups (ERG's) are designed to build an inclusive environment for SDSU employees from various employment groups. Faculty and staff are encouraged to join.

  • To our students: Seek out coursework to learn more about people whose backgrounds and experiences are different than your own. Explore our cultural identity centers, including the APIDA Resource Center, Black Resource Center and Native Resource Center.

When You Need Support

At SDSU, we sustain a range of support services for students, faculty and staff.

  • Counseling & Psychological Services offers a range of therapeutic services to support students. Call 619-594-5220 to schedule a consultation with a therapist and visit the C&PS website for additional information.

  • SDSU Dean of Students Randy Timm is available to address individual student concerns. His office may be contacted by calling 619-594-5221 or emailing [email protected].

  • Faculty can contact the Office of Faculty Advancement by emailing [email protected] or calling 619-594-6111.

  • Faculty and staff can contact the Center for Human Resources at 619-594-6404 for support, or the Employee Assistance Program, which offers confidential support for a variety of concerns, including emotional, relationship, health, legal and workplace issues.

Gratitude and Appreciation

The weeks leading up to this ruling have been deeply challenging, particularly for members of the Black, Latinx, APIDA and Indigenous communities. But, with this historic moment for our nation, we can continue moving toward healing and repair.

With this in mind, I want to personally thank several individuals for their tireless efforts toward improving the lives and conditions of those within our community who have historically been underserved, underrepresented and underappreciated: Vice President J. Luke Wood, Associated Students President Christian Holt, University Senate Vice Chair Nola Butler-Byrd, and countless others.

I remain confident that our community has the strength and compassion necessary to move forward in creating a more just and equitable society.

Adela de la Torre, Ph.D.
San Diego State University President

 
 

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