Dear Community Members,
Systemic racism, police violence, hate crimes against minority groups, and mass shootings continue to plague communities across the U.S. Against this backdrop, news reports are flooding Americans with words and images from the trial of the former police officer charged in the May 2020 murder of George Floyd, and we are now preparing to learn the verdict.
The social and political divisions of the past year, coupled with the stresses resulting from the ongoing pandemic, feel overwhelming for many of us.We recognize the myriad emotions that members of our community are experiencing, including worry, trauma, sadness, loss, confusion, anger, and fear. We are deeply saddened by reports that our students are afraid they could be victims of or witnesses to police violence. These emotions are valid, and we are committed to providing support and responding with compassion.
So many across our country have worked for years to bring true justice to our society and to find ways to come together, heal, create real change, and move forward as a more united nation. The events of the past year have resulted in a groundswell of support for decisive action to dismantle the structural racism, discrimination, and other forms of systematic oppression and marginalization in the wider world, and on our own campus.
We encourage all members of our community to remain committed to hearing and understanding different perspectives as we seek to move forward together. UMBC is a community in which we inspire one another to be our authentic selves, reach our full potential, and make an impact. Our commitment to inclusive excellence and shared governance builds individual and collective capacity for listening to and learning from diverse perspectives—skills that are essential for addressing the disparities and differences that have persisted in our country for far too long.
We invite all members of our diverse UMBC family to connect with each other in the spirit of mutual respect, dignity, and understanding. Please consider these resources to support your conversations and share them with your fellow Retrievers:
The Office of Equity and Inclusion’s cross-campus Support and Action Resources.
When participating in online conversations, keep in mind UMBC Community Guidelines for Social Media.
Finally, we encourage all to bring compassion and flexibility to interactions with our students and colleagues, understanding that each of us may be responding to events through the lens of our individual experiences. Students in need of emotional support can contact the Counseling Center at (410) 455-2472 on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., or the after-hours support line at (410) 455-3230. Employees can access support through the Employee Assistance Program.
President Freeman Hrabowski
Provost Philip Rous
Mehrshad Devin, President, Student Government Association
Samantha Fries, President, Graduate Student Association
Bobby Lubaszewski ‘10, President, Professional Staff Senate
Orianne Smith, President, Faculty Senate
Melody Wright ‘18, President, Non-Exempt Staff Senate