November 11, 2020
Dear Colleagues and Students,
Last night we received the news about the Dreasjon Reed grand jury decision, which comes after a summer of protest against racism and social injustice as well as months of heightened stress due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We have witnessed and mourned the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmad Arbery, and so many others whose names should be etched on this nation's heart.
In the heat of the summer, the protests in downtown Indianapolis spurred action on the IUPUI campus, including a student protest march, a peaceful demonstration organized by Indy Lawyers for Black Lives, and a White Coats for Black Lives march organized by School of Medicine residents.
All of these actions demonstrated time and again that IUPUI faculty, staff, and students bring civility and respect even to the most difficult conversations. As a campus, we remain unwavering in our determination to ensure that we offer a welcoming, safe, civil, and inclusive environment for all. Open dialogue is part of our culture, central to academic freedom and to our educational mission. Though we may disagree, mutual respect and civility must guide the conversation and our interactions with one another.
Now more than ever as we fight for our lives against the global COVID-19 pandemic, we also must confront the destructive and persistent pandemic of racism. To do this, we must join hands with one another and ensure that we are actively and intentionally antiracist. This is our pathway to change. This is our bridge to the future.
Nasser H. Paydar