Ohio University

Executive Vice President and Provost Sayrs affirms OHIO's commitment to social justice

Published: June 5, 2020 Author: Staff reports

The Office of Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs urgently affirms the University’s commitment to social justice. We join our colleagues in expressing deep sadness and anger at the tragic stream of brutality we have witnessed over the past weeks and years, including the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the long-standing, underlying, and persistent racism that perpetuates this violence. We also have witnessed a nation rise up in solidarity to expose the overt, covert, and systemic racism that has persisted for centuries.

The University’s commitment to social justice is not just the responsibility of those whose job titles include the word “diversity.” We affirm that Black Lives Matter, and we stand in solidarity with our students, colleagues, and community members of color, especially African American community members, with our fellow citizens, and with our international students and colleagues. We must go beyond words and address historical and current contexts of the ongoing struggle for racial equality and justice in our classrooms and our course content, in our research and in our disciplines, and on our campuses and in our broader communities. 

I urge our faculty and staff to make use of the “Keep Including” website, a collaboration between Faculty Senate Chair Robin Muhammad and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion, which includes resources for supporting marginalized students, for fostering access, accessibility, and a sense of belonging, and for incorporating trauma-informed teaching. We must reclaim the purpose of public higher education to help eradicate systemic racism and effect lasting change.