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Standing Together in Times of Great Challenge

June 5, 2020|By Dana Center Communications

As part of the College of Natural Sciences at UT Austin, we stand in unity with Dean Paul M. Goldbart and our colleagues across campus who have been deeply impacted by the events transpiring over this past week. We believe Dean Goldbart aptly captures these sentiments in his message below.   

A Message from College of Natural Sciences Dean Paul Golbart…

The crushing anguish of this moment is undeniably sharpened with each detail we learn about the individuals whose names are evoked repeatedly. Breonna Taylor, a health care professional who dreamed her life's work would be in caring for patients, was killed in her home. George Floyd, from Houston and pursuing a new start in a new place, now is survived by his 6-year-old daughter, another Texan. Ahmaud Arbery was planning to attend college in the fall in my former hometown when he went for a jog that culminated in atrocity. Theirs are but the latest violent deaths in a long string of violent deaths, and we must acknowledge the suffering dehumanization and racism cause. 

Today, a student posed a question to me. Essentially it was an invitation to think about how I can do more than stand, in grief and anger, with Black students, colleagues and community members burdened under the weight of our current moment. How can I also move forward with them – through a commitment to do more listening, more reflection, more seeking out educational resources at UT and beyond? Together, we can and must build a just and equitable university and indeed society.

Below, I have included a message from our College Diversity & Inclusion Committee that provides suggestions and resources for moving forward together through this time. I am grateful to both the committee and our College's student-led Council for Diversity Engagement, which informs ongoing work in Natural Sciences and beyond to build equity and inclusion. 

I encourage you to review the committee's ideas for action and other resources below – only a starting point certainly, but one compiled by students, faculty and staff here in CNS for the benefit of our community.

Perhaps I may close for now by emphasizing that I am committed, along with UT's Coalition of Diversity and Inclusion Officers, to building a college where all know that they belong and have exquisite value – and where dehumanization and hatred have no place. To echo what I have said elsewhere, as we grapple with the structural failings of our society I ask that we each do our best to steady our community and beyond by reaching out and offering encouragement through word and deed to anyone among us – or anyone else – who may be in need. 

Paul M. Goldbart

Read UT's Coalition of Diversity and Inclusion Officers' Statement


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