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Equity and Inclusion

A Message of Solidarity

June 01, 2020

Dear Lewis & Clark Community,

The current unrest and uprising in our country, as well as our own backyard, has revealed with greater clarity than ever the divisions of race that continue to harm us. We are compelled to offer a statement to our community that recognizes this moment and calls on us to work together in support of a collective response. From the reactions of those calling attention to the historical mistreatment of communities of color, one thing is clear: There is real pain. There is real suffering. And there is justified rage. The nation again stands at a crossroads.

To what extent do some of us feel not only a sense of responsibility for what happened to George Floyd, and so many other Black people, but also for the conditions that allowed their murders to occur: namely turning a blind eye toward the realities of Black people in the United States?

Too often a response by well-meaning allies is to simply reach out to affected communities and offer words of encouragement. Although appreciated, this is not enough, because this form of outreach runs the risk of removing responsibility from the majority and requiring the work be done by communities of color. To ensure that we turn the tide of racism and white supremacy, those in the majority should seek to understand ways they can be part of the solution within their communities.

Our hope is that we can collectively recognize and challenge the historical, structural, and systemic forms of racism that continue to threaten the lives of people of color and imperil the communities in which they live.

Our hope is that we are moved to act in concrete and significant ways against the violence done to our friends, neighbors, and colleagues.

As individuals and as members of wider communities, we must all ask ourselves what we are doing to be part of a solution that lives up to our values.

In solidarity,

Executive Council of Lewis & Clark College

Joe Becker, Associate Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications
Andrea Dooley, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Operations
Mark Figueroa, Dean of Equity & Inclusion and Assistant Vice President for Institutional Research and Planning
Scott Fletcher, Dean of the Graduate School of Education and Counseling
Robin Holmes-Sullivan, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students
Jennifer Johnson, Dean of the Law School
David Reese, Vice President, Chief of Staff, Board Secretary, and General Counsel
Eric Staab, Vice President for Admissions and Financial Aid
Bruce Suttmeier, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences
Josh Walter, Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Wim Wiewel, President

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