Statement From Medaille President Dr. Ken Macur Regarding the Death of George Floyd and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the College


Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd


 

Dear Medaille Community,

The taking of Black lives has to matter, and at Medaille, Black Lives Do Matter. We have all witnessed many horrible events over the last several days, though none more horrible than watching George Floyd’s life being taken in a brutal act of disregard for human life. Those actions taken against an American citizen and a fellow human being serve as a mirror for all of us to see the ugliness of racism in its most extreme form.

We have seen the protests that have taken place across the nation and even right here in our own city. As Buffalo’s College, it is imperative that we as a community commit to working even more stridently at contributing to creating spaces that are welcoming and inclusive for everyone. It is clear that our country is grappling, not only with how we handle the disease of COVID-19, but also how we heal ourselves of the insidious disease of racial injustice against Black people that permeates our systems of education, healthcare, voting, criminal justice, housing and employment.

As we individually try to process what is happening in the world around us, let us focus our efforts and energies on seeing what we can do to change our corner of the world here at Medaille College. Let us ask what we can do to promote a more just and fair environment that contributes tirelessly to the equitable and inclusive treatment specifically of Black people who are a part of our College, city, region, state, nation and international community.

I am calling on faculty and staff to think and act on the following points:

  • Think about the policies and practices within the institution that disadvantage people of color and historically marginalized people. Then work to change those policies and practices.

  • Show that you care about all students, not just those who meet the traditional standard of what a “good” student is. Be empathetic and work harder to assist students who you know are struggling, and fight to help them succeed. This is our job as educators.

  • Create real relationships with people who don’t look like you or have the same upbringing as you. Learn to appreciate and value every human being for their unique contributions to the College community and the world.

  • Acknowledge your biases and invest in working through them by seeking out books, workshops, and valued mentors who can help you along this journey.


Here’s what I am committed to doing with the assistance of all Medaille faculty and staff:

  • Launching the President’s Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusion, chaired by Director of Diversity & Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator Kenya Hobbs, to continue developing a healthy, diverse community by providing opportunities and venues for campus stakeholders to learn from diverse others. The members will serve as ambassadors in the promotion of campus-wide participation in the College’s diversity and inclusion efforts. They will focus efforts on:

    • Creating, retaining and improving the experience of a more diverse faculty.

    • Creating, retaining and improving the experience of a more diverse staff.

    • Creating, retaining and improving the experience of a more diverse student community.

    • Creating a campus culture of diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Incorporating a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion component as part of the New Faculty Orientation.

  • Creating a Blackboard page to include a repository of articles, white papers and book titles, which can serve as a resource for faculty and staff in the diversity, equity and inclusion learning process.

  • Coordinating and sponsoring diversity, equity and inclusion-themed social and cultural activities and events to engage students, faculty and staff in university-wide community building efforts.

  • Supporting the finalization of a new M.A. in Social Justice and Equity Studies program.

To our students, I am asking you to work with us in identifying and calling in those segments of our community that require our attention. We want you to know that each student at the College is valued. We will continue to work to ensure that you have what you need to succeed. If you need assistance with processing what is happening right now with everything going on, please know that our Wellness Center staff is available for you (716-880-2399).

Dr. Macur's Signature

 

 

Dr. Kenneth M. Macur
Medaille College President

 

 

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