Campus & Community

Administration issues statement on inclusivity in wake of Missouri protests

Editor’s note: This communication was sent to DU students, faculty and staff on Thursday afternoon. It was signed by Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, Provost Gregg Kvistad, Frank Tuitt, senior advisor to the chancellor and provost for diversity and inclusion, and Liliana Rodriguez, vice chancellor for campus life and inclusive excellence.

 

Dear Community,

All over the nation, racial and ethnic tensions are mounting, especially within higher education communities. And while the protests at the University of Missouri, Yale and Ithaca College are most visible right now, we know that many schools are facing painful issues of inequality and injustice. Our community is also struggling.

Over the last two days, there have been community conversations about the experiences of people of color, particularly students, at the University of Denver. And while it may make us uncomfortable to admit it, the stories that students have shared highlight the prejudices we all carry and the inequities we perpetuate – even here, in a place of higher learning.

We have a lot of work to do, and these issues impact us all. In fact, the very purpose of an education from the University of Denver is to equip our students with the skills necessary to promote the public good. Every major issue facing our global society (environmental, political, health, religious or economic) has core challenges related to intergroup conflict and histories of systemic discrimination. Admitting these ugly realities is the first step toward eradicating them.

Over the next year, the University will be undertaking a major review of the supports we offer and the education we provide. We will continue to take steps toward becoming the inclusive community we strive to be. We will listen to the experiences of our community members with compassion and empathy. And most importantly, we will challenge ourselves to unpack our biases.

You have our commitment to provide the open forums, training opportunities and other venues to bring our community together in order to face the challenges of our past, present and future.

In the meantime, the Center for Multicultural Excellence, in partnership with various campus and community offices and organizations, provides a variety of support programs and services that you can find at www.du.edu/cme/programs-services.

 

3 Comments

  1. Lisa Brennan says:

    Thank you for doing this!!! My daughter goes to CU and we have a friend from Mizzou who has come home to the safety of her family. This dialogue needs to happen at all schools and I applaud your willingness to take this as an opportunity for real change.
    Sincerely,
    Lisa Brennan
    Parker CO

  2. If you think that minorities are mistreated on campus, you are either seriously delusional, or intentionally pursuing a destructive agenda of the radical Left. I lean towards the latter…surprise, surprise… Additionally, I would like to remind you that the reputation of the Inquisitor depended on the number of witches he burnt…I would humbly suggest similar parallel with respect to “campus life and inclusive excellence” office.

    Sincerely,

  3. I’m very glad that you are being mindful and putting these ideas into place. As a republican, I feel that professors clearly exhibit biases against me, my ideas are immediately cast down before I can defend them, and I feel an overall sense of threat on the DU campus when I try to express my beliefs. Hopefully your approach will increase the sense of safety for people of all backgrounds.

    Y si, soy hispana.

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