Queens' Message on Ending Systemic Racism
Dear Queens Community,
The horrific acts of violence resulting in the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have brought pain and anguish across the country and right here in our community. These are not isolated incidents. These three people are the latest in a long list of people of color who have died senseless deaths as a result of institutionalized racism and oppression in our society – two things Queens stands firmly against.
Last night, members of the Queens community, including members of our senior leadership team, engaged in one of the many peaceful protests in Charlotte, in an effort to peacefully and emphatically express our anger and growing frustration over our country’s failure to address and change our longstanding systemic and institutionalized practices of racism. Our society, systems, and institutions cannot continue to disproportionately treat black and brown Americans violently and perpetuate deep inequality.
We must do better. We must be better. We as a community, each one of us, must use our voices to let it be known that racism has no place here. We, as a university, must cultivate dialogue to improve intellectual understanding, as well as instill in each of us a moral imperative to advocate for all, to help reform the systems that oppress.
The leadership at Queens is committed to combatting inequality and racism. We will not stand on the sidelines. In the coming days and weeks, we will use our institutional communication and media channels to share resources and ways for you to engage in the conversation and be part of solutions. We remain committed to fostering an environment where all individuals are safe, treated fairly, valued and respected.
So many of us are feeling pain and are seeking something we can do right now to begin a process of healing and progress towards a more just community and society. We do not profess to have the answers or the perfect pathway, as we have much to learn. One thing that we have all learned is that it is not enough to simply be or say that we are not racist.
Let us all do the work to learn what it takes for us to become anti-racist. Let us all commit to learning about institutionalized and systemic racism and with this knowledge find ways to combat and dismantle it. Let us all commit to calling out racism when we see it. But maybe most of all, let us all be willing to have conversations and to use our voices to demand an end to racism.
These are such challenging times for all of us. Each of us is privileged to be a member of the Queens community where we strive to support and respect each other. Together, we can begin to heal. Together, we can be a shining example for good in a deeply challenging world.
Your Senior Leadership Team
Dr. Sarah Fatherly
Maria del Carmen Flores-Mills