Today, we write to you with much sadness and frustration about what is occurring in our country. While our lives are turned upside down due to the COVID-19 lockdown, we are also in the midst of a pivotal point in our history where differences based upon race are culminating in continuing acts of violence such as the recent killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Sadly, these are not isolated incidents in our history, past and present, but emblematic of a period where targeting individuals based upon race continue to be pronounced and pervasive.
We are witnessing numerous attacks on African Americans, Chicanos/Latinos and Asian Pacific Americans regardless of their rights as human beings. These occur as direct physical assaults, separation of parents and children, blaming for various perceived wrongs and being told “to go back to your country.” While horrific and painful, these attacks are only the surface product of systemic racism. The deeper, long-rooted problem in America stems from economic and social injustice endured by communities of color.
At Cal State East Bay we cannot, and must not, stand idly by as racist actions isolate, dehumanize and humiliate individuals for no reason other than the color of their skin. Our university community believes that all people should be treated equitably and justly. While our university mission and shared commitments are important, what matters is how we as individuals take the responsibility to put them into practice in our interactions with each other.
If we do not stand up as one for the civil and human rights of every person in the United States, then the future of our country is at stake. As a community that strongly believes in diversity and inclusion, this is our imperative.
Let us commit to work together as a community to engage others in dialogue and work toward the just and equitable society that we want for ourselves and our children and their children.
In addition, check the Office of Diversity for dates on upcoming community dialogues being scheduled for this week.
Stay strong, well and safe.
Leroy M. Morishita, President
Edward Inch, Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
Debbie Chaw, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Administration and Finance
Suzanne Espinoza, Vice President, Student Affairs
William Johnson, Vice President, University Advancement
Kimberly Baker-Flowers, University Diversity Officer
Derek Aitken, Chief of Staff