Greetings Advising Community,

The Advising Community grieves with the nation over the racial injustice and brutality that took the life of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Amaud Aubrey, Tony McDade, and the lives of so many others. People all across the country and the world have rightly expressed outrage, including those members within our advising community and among our students. We want to reach out to you and acknowledge the difficult emotions and let you know that we are here to support you.

We have talked with a number of you and it is clear that we are a community driven to partnering together to address systemic inequality. We are a community that stands in solidarity with the Black community. We are a community committed to building an equitable, diverse and inclusive space for not only those we serve, but for each other. Whether it be conversations occurring in staff meetings, the work of various college-specific diversity and inclusion committees, or the individual efforts of one person who wants to develop and grow in their own education, we are a community dedicated to eliminating the continuation of events like this in our society and committed to investing in our students, ourselves, our community, and our world.

In working with our students, we encourage you to do what you do best: Provide them with a safe space to share, feel valued, feel seen. A space to reflect, process, and grow. A space to learn, speak up, and help their community.

Confronting racism is so much more than any one donation, email, or social media post — it’s ongoing work and it asks us all to reflect on and examine our own attitudes and behaviors and do our part to make ourselves better. We can draw upon our collective strength as an advising community. In the below email, we echo the sentiments NACADA has recently shared with its members and encourage you to take advantage of the resources they've provided, sharing some of our own here, as well:

Within our community, we have resources, as well. If you need a place to talk, please feel free to reach out to us, the Faculty & Staff Assistance Program (FSAP), or the Real Help Hotline, which can provide immediate crisis counseling. Within your own colleges, reach out to your supervisors and colleagues, talk to one another, or take time in a staff meeting to talk as a group. Reach out to your Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committees and join their actions and if you don't have a DEI-type committee, consider starting one. In the end, reflection and dialogue promotes understanding and understanding can contribute to making lasting and structural changes.

In solidarity, peace, and support,

-Dana Parcher, Program Director, Advisor Training & Development, Office of Undergradaute Education

-Scarlett Pontón de Dutton, Campus Advising Director, Office of Undergradaute Education

-Shelly Bacon, Associate Vice Provost for Advising and Exploratory Studies, Office of Undergradaute Education