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University Statement on Recent Acts of Racist Violence

May 30, 2020

Dear Spider Community,

George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery. Names and lives that are now well known to us all.

As president of a University fully committed to combatting inequality and advancing inclusivity, and as a black man, I am deeply aggrieved over the senseless deaths of these African Americans who have become the latest victims of racist violence. Their unnecessary deaths are horrific reminders of the dehumanization and fear that Black people, and people of color in general, experience in our society.

This is a systemic problem that reaches every corner of our nation. Sadly, even our own community — like so many college campuses — is not immune to acts of hatred, racism, and xenophobia. Just this week, I spoke to a student who was racially profiled while walking on campus. No one should have to experience such hateful behavior on our campus or anywhere else.

These events — compounded by a global pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color and other underrepresented groups — are extremely disturbing. Our collective capacity to care for one another is already being stretched. But we must strive to continue this important work. I encourage you to openly and honestly discuss these events with one another, compassionately, and with a commitment to building a safer, more inclusive campus and society. If you experience a bias incident, please report it. In addition, I urge students to contact the Chaplaincy, the College Deans' offices, Common Ground, Multicultural Affairs, as well as other trusted mentors and campus resources, for support. You may find additional online resources through the CAPS COVID-19 resource page.

I also encourage you to attend any of the discussions already planned for next week:

Now, more than ever, we must continue to uphold our shared values as a community and consistently embody them. Making Richmond a diverse, equitable, and inclusive intercultural community is the responsibility of each one of us, on campus and beyond.

In these difficult times, I take solace and find resolve in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s notion of the “Beloved Community”: a society rooted in justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings, and a vision for a world in which all people share in the wealth of the earth. It is all too clear in moments like this that the United States is a long way from achieving Dr. King’s vision.

There is vital work ahead of us. Thank you for everything you are doing to ensure all Spiders feel welcomed, safe, and included in our community. Please continue to take care of yourself and one another.

Sincerely,

Ronald A. Crutcher
President

Inclusive Excellence

Learn more about the University of Richmond's work of making excellence inclusive and see highlights from spring 2020.