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In Response to George Floyd’s Death, Recent Events

To our college community:

Grief. Sorrow. Shame. I am feeling them all. In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, we are in mourning, as individuals and as a community. We extend our thoughts, prayers and wishes to those who are suffering deeply. However, I know these words are not enough.

Calls for change are spreading across the country, throughout our city and state, and across our campus. Chancellor Woodson has shared his renewed commitment to build and sustain an inclusive, respectful community at NC State, where anti-Black racism and intolerance have no place.

I add my voice to his. And I acknowledge that it’s not enough.

NC State’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences has made strides toward equity, whether by pushing through pay increases to provide a living wage to our professional track faculty; by putting systems in place to ensure diversity in hiring — and retaining — faculty; by diversifying study abroad and research experiences for underrepresented students; by working with the Graduate School to identify gaps in graduate student support; by holding listening sessions and diversity trainings with and for students, staff and faculty. Yet I know it’s not enough.

Our college leadership gathered, albeit virtually, last week to recommit ourselves to this work. We will spend this summer re-examining our efforts, renewing what’s been helping, and putting new, actionable plans in place to address shortcomings. It’s not enough, but we’ll keep at it.

We all have parts to play. Some of our faculty are public intellectuals who can educate and share their perspectives as historians, cultural anthropologists, psychologists, or through the other lenses of their disciplines. Many of our alumni, students, faculty and staff have been deeply scarred by racism: your stories can inform and educate us all. Each of us is a student — flawed, but determined to bring about change.

Join me: Let’s recommit our expertise, our hearts, our highest selves, to create and nurture a campus community and a world where all are seen, valued, and treated equally and fairly. 

Jeffery P. Braden, Dean
College of Humanities and Social Sciences