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Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Elijah McClain. These and countless more examples of horrific police brutality and acts of violence perpetrated against Black people compel us to authentically share our commitments to combat all forms of racism, including institutional racism and the devastating harm that it causes.
While the recent horrific murders are not new, the Dean of Students Office and the Student Care Center are motivated to publicly share our work and thoughts now after taking time to reflect on our work, power, and privilege, and to discuss actionable steps we can take as a team. We acknowledge that the systems and structures in place in higher education are based on a tradition of racist and white supremacist ideals.
We recognize the problematic nature of this and are working to understand and atone for the impact on students. We see the experiences of MSU Denver’s students who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) who are adversely affected by the systemic racism in our society. Our commitment, as professional staff within the Dean of Students Office and Student Care Center, to students is centered on identifying, altering, and removing barriers to success that were created with not all students in mind.
We are actively working to understand and reverse the impacts of systemic racism and oppression, how we perpetuate it, and how we can dismantle it at MSU Denver and beyond. We know we have a lot of work to do. To create sustained change within the University, the Dean of Students Office and Student Care Center commit to engaging in the following:
We commit to holding ourselves accountable to what we have outlined above by regularly revisiting the above-listed commitments each semester, calling one another in when we misstep or cause harm, taking steps to make repairs when we cause harm, and otherwise continuing this work, regardless of how difficult it may be or how busy we become.
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