Equity Task Force June 2 Update
Message from Peter Rodriguez, dean
On the heels of a challenging spring dominated by public health concerns, we begin the month of June with the solemn recognition of our nation’s poor social health. This weekend, protests sparked by the tragic death of former Houstonian George Floyd filled the streets of more than 140 U.S. cities, as well as cities in the U.K., New Zealand and across the world. Events of recent weeks, from New York City’s Central Park to Southeast Georgia and finally to Minneapolis, have highlighted enduring inequities in our nation and the injustice, fear and pain they especially cause for Black Americans, and their cancerous effects on our society.
This moment in our history makes it seem that the needle of social progress is stuck or even tilting backwards. Upsetting as these moments are, we must meet them with expressions of empathy, the resolve to stand for justice and a reaffirmation of our commitment to an open, diverse, welcoming and unified campus community. We must call out injustice and inequity that affects any member of our community. Failing to do so weakens the bonds that support all of us and threatens the fundamental promise of higher education to provide opportunity and fairness to all.
Let us stand with and speak out with Rice Provost Reggie DesRoches, who in his statement on the death of George Floyd wrote:
"This will not change until all of us, not just those in the minority, speak out and say that this is unacceptable."
Let us embrace and act upon Rice University President David Leebron's message:
"We must work to build an inclusive environment, one that respects and values people from different backgrounds. We must take part in efforts to reduce the deadly discrimination and racism that is an unstaunched wound in our national fabric."
We belong to a kind, generous and welcoming university with the most diverse MBA program in the United States in the most diverse city in the United States. Only together were we able to develop our strong and cherished community, and only together can we ensure justice for all in our society.
Peter Rodriguez, dean