Posted Thursday, June 4, 2020, Public Scholarship and Engagement

A Statement of Solidarity with Black Faculty

This is a time like no other, a global health pandemic and the escalation of public unrest in the face of yet another killing of a Black man at the hands of police officers. George Floyd, like numerous other men, women, and trans persons of color before and after him, died because of persistent and endemic racialized realities in the U.S. that plague Black communities simultaneously with over policing and economic and social exclusion. In fact, the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black communities is a direct result of the system of racial capitalism which frames the vulnerability of African American people.

Inevitably, the emotional despair of our students seeps into the now virtual classrooms and shows up to be reckoned with. At UC Davis, faculty of color are again on the frontlines of classrooms, labs, studios, and in our communities working tirelessly to attempt to provide answers to the unanswerable, solutions to what seems impossible, and hope for what seems unreachable. This arduous emotional and intellectual labor, which Black faculty must carry when they themselves are spent, is too often unseen.

We offer this statement as a space of recognition, of solidarity, of care and love. Please know that we as faculty of color value the countless ways in which you, our Black colleagues, do the work of equity on this campus. Thank you for your resilience and courage, especially now as we grapple once again with deep inequities in our society while learning to live and function during the pandemic. Thank you for the enormous empathy and care you offer our students. Thank you for the substantial contributions you make to research and public service. Thank you for the ways you speak up to make UC Davis a more inclusive and just institution. Please know that we stand with you and amongst you in this on-going struggle to do the work we have been called to do. As our nation reflects on the inequalities that underlie racial violence, our work is more important than ever.

We know that words are not enough. We know that you (and we) need to move through these times and to plan for the ways that we can propel change within the very institution we labor. We fully grasp the urgency of making UC Davis more responsive to the needs of faculty of color, and to the needs of our students whose backgrounds reflect the composition of our state and of our country.

We encourage all of us to reach out to one another, express solidarity, provide reassurance and give thanks. We also invite you to let us know how we can support you. We stand in solidarity.

Kimberly Nettles-Barcelon
CAMPSSAH Faculty Director
Associate Professor of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies

Mariel Vazquez
CAMPOS Faculty Director
Professor of Mathematics and of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Michael Rios
Vice Provost, Public Scholarship and Engagement
Professor of Urban Design

Hendry Ton
Associate Vice Chancellor of Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Raquel E. Aldana, PhD, MPA, RN, FACHE, FAAN
Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity
Professor of Law