Message from the Chief Diversity Officer

Message from the Chief Diversity Officer

Dear FSU Family,

As I assume my new role as the university’s Chief Diversity Officer my heart is heavy. The recent tragic events involving black men and women across the country is disheartening.  We have all watched in horror the deaths of unarmed Black Americans in our country, from Ahmaud Arbery, to Breonna Taylor, to George Floyd. The pain that you all are feeling I am feeling as well. We must never forget their names - Breonna, Ahmaud, George, Sandra, Eric, Michael, Trayvon, Tony, Emmett….

These incidents of violence, as well as health care disparities revealed by the Covid-19 pandemic, have once again reminded us of the systemic and institutional realities of racism in America. We are also reminded that these inequities extend beyond race to include gender identity, socio-economic class, and sexual orientation, among others. At FSU it is important for our entire community to acknowledge that these circumstances have affected many of our African American students, faculty and staff in countless ways. We cannot turn away.  Now more than ever we need to be understanding, empathetic and supportive.  But we also have to be responsive to the larger issue of systemic racism and address it with a conviction and a call to collective action.

Over the coming weeks the EDI team will be partnering with members of the campus community as well as Tallahassee community representatives in providing support but also to take action to address this national crisis and its impact on our community. The work will be intentional and outcome- driven. We will provide regular updates on this work.  I encourage you to review the resources that have been provided on this page and tap into the campus support infrastructure that is available for all faculty, staff and students.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at diversity@fsu.edu with any questions, concerns or comments that you may have.

Regardless of our race, ethnicity, color or creed, we all have a role to play in ending racism and ensuring an equitable and inclusive society.

Sincerely,

Michelle Brown Douglas
Chief Diversity Officer

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