Dear Members of the Baruch Community,
We write with sorrow for and outrage at the killing of George Floyd while he was in the custody of Minneapolis police officers. George Floyd’s senseless death continues a pattern in this country of lethal racial injustice, one that indicates its deep-rootedness in our society. We have far too much evidence to turn away from it; our collective tragedy is its accumulation on a near-daily basis.
As faculty at CUNY, we celebrate diversity and recognize its manifold benefits and richness. CUNY is an institution founded on principles of equal access to higher education; we cannot remain silent in the face of systemic and institutionalized racism. We know we have work to do.
Our mission is tied to the power of education and, with it, the eradication of bigotry and intolerance. We stand with those who live in fear of their safety because of the color of their skin. Their lives are meaningful, precious, and they matter. The poet and CUNY professor Audre Lorde wrote in 1981 of her anger in the face of racist oppression. Anger, when focused, can become “a powerful source of energy serving progress and change. And when I speak of change, I do not mean a simple switch of positions or a temporary lessening of tensions, nor the ability to smile or feel good. I am speaking of a basic and radical alteration in those assumptions underlining our lives.”
We mourn the death of George Floyd and the profound injustice it represents. We recognize our responsibility and role in changing long-held beliefs, practices, and actions. We reaffirm our commitment to continuing to build and expand an equitable and diverse community at every level, one that values and respects all individuals.
The Chairs and Deans of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College
Jessica Lang, English
Jana O’Keefe Bazzoni, Communication Studies
Shelly Eversley, Black and Latino Studies
Warren Gordon, Mathematics
Thomas Heinrich, History
David Jones, Political Science
Jennifer Mangels, Psychology
Joshua Mills, Journalism
Ali Nematollahy, Modern Languages and Comparative Literature
Hagop Sarkissian, Philosophy
Gregory Snyder, Anthropology/Sociology
Anne Swartz, Fine and Performing Arts
John Wahlert, Natural Sciences
Aldemaro Romero, Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
Gary Hentzi, Associate Dean of the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences
"Why We Can't Breathe" - An essay by Baruch professor Regina A. Bernard