Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Statement

Office of the President

Dear Graduate Center Community,

When I wrote to you on May 29, I said that I would follow up with more information about the steps we would take to fight racism and address pressing issues of racial injustice.

Today, I share with you our equity, inclusion, and anti-racism statement. In it, we articulate our commitment to racial justice and the actions we will take to uphold it.

Thank you to everyone in our community who has helped us develop this and who continues to move us forward in our thinking and our action.

Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism Statement

The Graduate Center, CUNY prides itself on being part of a university committed to and successful at serving as an engine of social mobility, providing opportunities to a diverse academic community. We recognize how privileged we are to play host to the brilliant individuals who go on to serve New York City, the country, and the world in critical ways. With this privilege comes a responsibility to do all that we can to ensure that members of our diverse community are safe to pursue their education and live their lives productively as they go about their daily activities.

The recent, senseless killings of three Black people — George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, who were simply living their lives — demand that we reinforce our commitment to equity and inclusion and speak out against actions that threaten the physical and emotional well-being of our community members.

The episodes of violence and police brutality against people of color can no longer be dismissed as isolated incidents. They must end. It is time for every institution of conscience to add its voice to the rising wave of those calling for justice across our country. Additionally, we must do all that we can to ensure that our own institution serves as a safe space where people of color are free to come and go and pursue their dreams and achievements without suspicion or threat, and with the same level of opportunity as their white counterparts. We pledge to confront the ways that our own institution perpetuates white privilege and racism, however subtle. The Graduate Center, CUNY is committed to these principles and stands in solidarity with all of the people of color in our community and in our nation as they oppose violence and demand justice.

We will infuse a greater awareness of injustice and its many manifestations into our work as scholars, educators, and administrators. We will convene safe spaces for dialogue and action; create awareness training for faculty, staff, and students; and evaluate all of our policies to ensure that they advance our stated goals of diversity and inclusion.

Professor Martin Ruck, senior advisor to the president for diversity and inclusion, in collaboration with our Advisory Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, will take the lead on these initiatives. The Advanced Science Research Center is also forming a committee focused on diversity, inclusion, and equity to help the ASRC fulfill its mission to nurture a distinctive and inclusive research culture.

You will hear more about specific actions and community engagement opportunities in the coming days.

Sincerely,

James Muyskens
Interim President

Submitted on: JUN 8, 2020

Category: Diversity | GCstories | General GC News | President's Office - Archive