A message from Incoming Dean Jennifer Malat on the protests
This weekend we have seen protests spread across the country, including to Richmond. As I read the news, my thoughts this morning are particularly with the members of our community who are hurting. While the protests began because a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd, we know that the protests are rooted in pain caused by experiences that happen regularly—not filmed and not recognized by wider society—and from hundreds of years of injustice faced by black people in America.
We must hold the pandemic, and its consequences, alongside the protests and recognize how they are related. We must hold both of these in order to serve our students, each other and our community. These are extraordinarily difficult times, but I believe that the College can be part of building a more equitable future.
I am not sure what our first steps as a college should be at this moment in response to the protests. As a white scholar and member of society, I have learned from people of color who describe their experiences in their public work and from the people in my life who have shared their experiences and corrected me when I am part of the problem. I have also learned by watching white allies. In the coming days, I will look to our college community for guidance on how we should proceed internally and how to help Richmond in concrete ways.