Over the past week, our nation has been convulsed in response to the appalling reality of yet another black individual being killed by a white police officer. The UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering stands with those in our community and around the world who are hurting and frustrated in the wake of this latest tragedy, which underscores, again, the lack of equality and justice for some that continues to plague our nation.
The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd is the latest example in a dismayingly long, seemingly endless series of such events, the newest public demonstration of injustice, inequality, and police brutality. Today, we declare that we stand with all who are the targets of oppression, with all who disavow oppression and injustice, and with all who yearn for an America that lives up to its lofty ideals honoring the inherent rights of all people and true equality for every human being.
We stand with the protesters who are exercising their Constitutional right to assemble freely and seek both redress for their grievances and expression of their deep and ongoing grief. We stand with anyone who envisions a more just world and who demands an America better than the one that has repeatedly failed to realize Martin Luther King Jr.’s eloquent, nearly sixty-year-old dream of people being judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
As a college, we hold inclusivity as a core value, and we are committed to strengthening diversity while continuing to eliminate the inequitable treatment of those who suffer from racist or otherwise unjust policies, as well as racist and otherwise hateful speech. We pledge to critically examine all components of the College to identify disparities, in order to work toward equity, access, and success for all students, staff, and faculty. Our goal is to ensure that all individuals feel welcome and an integral part of our College.
As faculty, staff, and students in the College of Engineering, we have a unique opportunity to create change. As an institution, we are duty-bound to be a voice for progress and for people. As individuals, we will advocate for those in need whose calls for justice go unheeded. Four hundred years after the first ships brought slaves to the American colonies, we believe it is high time to do much more than simply repeat the deeply self-evident truth that Black lives matter. We pledge to work together to dismantle the structures of systemic racism in our community and in the broader society. Now is the moment.
We sign this in solidarity.
Rod C. Alferness
Dean, College of Engineering
Associate Dean/Faculty Equity Advisor, College of Engineering
Professor, Computer Science
Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, College of Engineering
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Associate Dean for Academic Personnel, College of Engineering
Professor, Chemical Engineering
Associate Dean of Research, College of Engineering
ALCOA Distinguished Professor, Materials
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