We Hear, See and Stand With #BlackatUARK

Dear Fulbright College family,

Our work to create an inclusive, anti-racist campus and world is crucial.

And there is no more compelling case for this than reading the hundreds of #BlackatUARK tagged experiences of racism shared on social media by our students, faculty, staff and alumni – by you, our Fulbright College family. 

These posts are heartbreaking, painful and infuriating because the experiences they describe are unacceptable.

We have to do better, and we have to do it together.

We have to make sure our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students feel safe and supported, that we hear them and acknowledge the role we’ve played in perpetuating systemic racism. We cannot turn away from the hard and uncomfortable work of examining our failures.

Part of that is recognizing that the legacy of our college’s very namesake – Fulbright – is complex. Several of his political actions directly contradicted his efforts to advance cultural understanding, exchange and tolerance.

We will soon be announcing dates for upcoming Town Hall Conversations with our dean and associate deans to frankly discuss this and so much more.

For we must look deeper, and we must build a more welcoming, just and safe Fulbright College and U of A – one where Black lives matter and because of this all lives are made better.

We ask each of you to join us in these efforts, to join in one of the upcoming June Transforming the University of Arkansas sessions being offered by the U of A’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion and Vice Chancellor Yvette Murphy-Erby.

Additionally, here are some of the ways the college is working to create an inclusive, anti-racist campus. Some of these projects have been in the works for years or months, and some are new initiatives, but all are intended to help us foster safety, belonging, justice, equity and peace.

But this is only the beginning.

We must continuously keep asking ourselves what we can to do to be agents of positive change, and we know much more is needed.

We invite anyone who desires to share their story, perspective or feedback with us on their experiences of racism on campus through our D&I website form, and to let us know: 

  1. What do we need to stop doing?
  2. What do we need to start doing?
  3. What do we need to continue to do more of?

 We thank those who have shared their stories through #BlackatUARK. We are listening, we are here to do the needed work, and we are committed to creating an even better future for us all.

 

Sincerely, 

Your Fulbright College Dean’s Office