The English department joins in the grief and outrage expressed in this past week’s protests and mourns the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Nina Pop in Missouri, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Sean Reed in Indiana, Tony McDade in Florida from police brutality and antiblackness. That outrage is compounded by the crisis of systemic racism in health care, housing and employment that has led to great disparities in the impact of COVID-19 that heavily impact Black communities.
UC Riverside, and the University of California system, builds its brand by acknowledging that our university occupies Indigenous land, advertising the diversity of our undergraduates, numbers of first-generation students, the percentage of students who qualify for public grants, and retention rates for Black students. We call on our leadership not to retreat from a direct engagement with the day-to-day realities of Black students, staff, and faculty. This hypocrisy hurts our community and undermines the university’s national reputation as an institution committed to justice.
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Letters to Students
These letters were written by English department faculty to their students at the end of spring quarter 2020. They are in random order and only one minor edit has been made. – Susan Zieger