Published: Sept. 12, 2017

Dear School of Education Community:

I want to extend a warm welcome to all of you and wish you the very best as we begin another school year together. September always brings hope and the anticipation of new possibilities. We have much to be excited about: 

At the same time, I know that we are all painfully aware of the troubled times we are living in and the growing threats to the well-being of many in our community and beyond. The failure of many of our national leaders to denounce hate groups has granted a new level of permission to promulgate hate and bigotry. The recent decision to end DACA status in six months, immigration raids, and policies that discriminate against transgendered students and service members, have only reinforced the precariousness of daily life for many of our community—and ultimately hurt us all. We know, as well, that many of you have family and friends affected by the horrific hurricanes and floods in Texas, Louisiana, and now Florida.

In light of these events, we want to reaffirm that our school is a welcoming community. As the leader of this community, I ask you to join me in recommitting to our values of democracy, diversity, equity, and justice, and to the humanitarian ideals that undergird our work together. Together, we can commit to continuing to educate ourselves about the injustices around us and to finding ways to stand against hate, oppression, racism, and violence. We can commit to listening to others and taking the time to understand the experiences, fears, and understandings that we each bring to our work, our classrooms, and our conversations. We can commit to reaching out to unfamiliar colleagues in the hallways, and to taking the extra step to acknowledge people’s challenges and offer tangible support to members of our community in need.

As scholars and educators, we can take an emphatic stand against bigotry, hate, and discrimination and extend our support to members of our community whose loved ones have been displaced by the floods. I urge us all to consider how we can treat each other with care and commit to learning and acting in light of this moment. 

We are fortunate to be members of a community that can provide support and love for one another. Together we are strong.

With warm wishes, 
Dean Kathy Schultz

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