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Dean’s message: Time for change

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Dear College Community,

As a community committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences stands in solidarity with those of you hurting after our country’s most recent acts of racism. As long as Black lives are considered dispensable and disposable, there is no time for silence or inaction. We must call out racism and demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and the many, many more that have suffered oppression, discrimination, and harm from the deep roots of systemic racism still prevalent today.

We are doing our community a disservice if we pretend these events do not especially impact our Black students, faculty, staff, and their families. We must dismantle our biases, continue to educate ourselves, sit in our discomfort, and strive for a more inclusive space for every Jayhawk. If we do not, we allow space for racism and authoritarianism to continue.

The media will move on, but those among us who face discrimination regularly because of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, and immigration status do not have that opportunity. They will wake up every day in fear of going on a jog, birdwatching in the park, and even sleeping in their own bed.

Now is not the time for silence and inaction.

Commit today to taking care of each other. Commit to having difficult and honest conversations. Do not stand by and watch injustice. We must use our privilege and education to help those in our community who are marginalized and oppressed.

I encourage you to review the recent University message outlining steps the University is taking to create change in our campus community.


John Colombo, PhD
Interim Dean
Director, Schiefelbusch Institute for Life Span Studies
Professor of Psychology