Dear Rutgers University – Newark community members,
In the aftermath of the horrors in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio this past weekend, we join those communities in sorrow and bewilderment, as well as solidarity, over the calamitous loss of so many lives to outrageous gun violence. We are struck incredulous as, once again, weapons of war have been wielded all too easily in acts of terror that have ripped dozens of innocents from the midst of families and communities. While details are still coming to light, patterns of identity-based hate already have emerged prominently in the profiles of the perpetrators, whether based on race, ethnicity, citizenship, national origin, sexuality, or gender.
As a community in which we are so profoundly committed to leveraging our diversity to become better selves while working to bring about a more just world, events such as these, coming as they do in the wake of hateful rhetoric in the public sphere, can be deeply discouraging. Rather, I urge all members of the Rutgers-Newark community to find in this moment renewed resolve to stride forward on the path we are forging together.
As we prepare for the new academic year to open in just a few weeks, I invite us all to learn more about the remarkable work already under way at Rutgers-Newark that aims to help us work across difference—whether through university-wide initiatives such as the Chancellor’s Commission on Diversity and Transformation, Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, programs of the Intercultural Resource Center, the Office of Global Initiatives and Experiential Learning, Lives in Translation, or the many similarly directed programs and projects of our schools, colleges, and departments.
We are a community defined by such resolve, a community that recognizes that we are not waiting for someone else to come along and make our world better for us. Let us remind ourselves that the better world we desire starts with us. We are the ones.