IT Community Message - 6/2/2020

Dear IT Community,

Following up on the message sent Sunday evening from UCI Leadership, I want to communicate my strong commitment to the message on the horrific events and behaviors we have all witnessed in the past seven days and the effect it has had on us as individuals and as a nation.

I write today to stand in solidarity with the black community. Our institution has always stood for equity, diversity, and inclusion – whether we speak of education, healthcare, employment or behavior. In light of recent events, it only strengthens that commitment as we stand up to the structural inequality and acute racism faced by America's racial and ethnic minorities. Black lives matter, especially those who have been targeted and have endured prejudices for far too long. While I don't have the answers, I believe we all have a role to play.

Our university's mission has long been about supporting individuals and communities that are negatively impacted by these inequities and to do our utmost to create a better world. I believe this is core to who we are as an organization. But as recent events have escalated our pain to a new height, it can only be met with an equally elevated response. It's time each one of us re-evaluate the role we play and ask more of ourselves. Each of us as individuals need to look at our posture. For someone like me, that means leaning in more. For you... that's for you to decide. It's the beauty and curse of free will. What I ask is that you use this moment to re-evaluate that posture. Our community needs it, as does our nation.

Finally, I just want to say that I know the last few months have been stressful and challenging, and these feelings are likely to be elevated in the wake of these events. I want to remind you that our UCI community and leadership are here for you, even if only to listen. However, remember there are many support mechanisms available to you. Please use them.

UC Irvine has always shown our strength in times of challenge and stress—I know this week and the weeks and months to come will be the same.

Be safe, be strong, be Zot,