In response to the tragic events in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Texas last week, and ongoing acts of hatred and violence across the country and around the world, President Freeman Hrabowski and Provost Philip Rous have called for community support and honest and thoughtful conversations in the following message to the campus community:
In the wake of the act of terror in Orlando one month ago today, the killing of young black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and the killing of police officers and wounding of other officers and civilians in Texas this past week, we are struggling to come to terms with ongoing acts of hatred and violence across the country and around the world, from Turkey to Bangladesh. On behalf of the entire UMBC community, we extend our sincere condolences to the families and communities that have suffered such tragic personal losses.
In challenging times, when heartbreaking acts of violence occur so frequently, it can be difficult to find a path forward, but we know it must start with coming together as a community, across protest lines and lines of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and geography. We must work together to eliminate the causes of violence and injustice in our communities.
As a university community, it is our responsibility to lead and engage in honest and thoughtful conversations on difficult topics that are of great importance to our society, including systemic inequality, racism and prejudice in all its forms, and social justice. Many faculty, staff, and students have already created opportunities for such conversations across campus, as well as opportunities for reflection and healing. The Women’s Center and Mosaic Center will host a community safe space discussion tomorrow, noon-1 p.m., in the Women’s Center.
We will convene groups on campus to examine pressing social issues and identify new and existing resources to support our community in the coming weeks and months. This will include looking at ways to make sure these important conversations are a part of campus programs, events, and curricula.
As we consider the difference the UMBC community can make, we want to remind everyone of the following campus resources already in place:
- LGBTQ Faculty/Staff Association: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Counseling Center: (410) 455-2472
- International Education Services: (410) 455-2624
- The Mosaic and Interfaith Center: (410) 455-2686
- Women’s Center: (410) 455-2714
- Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs: (410) 455-2393
Despite the continuing challenges facing our nation and world, we must remain hopeful. UMBC is a special community, and our mission has never been more important.
Image: UMBC library and Baltimore City skyline. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.