George Floyd's Death

University at Buffalo Responses and Resources

Statement from the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence

Published June 6, 2020

Dear university community,

With you and so many across our university, nation, and the world, I feel profound grief and anger at the tragic death of George Floyd. The protests that have brought hundreds of thousands into the streets demanding justice for Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County (Georgia), Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, and many others are also a call to address the racism, violence, and injustice inflicted on Black Americans for centuries. This action must start at home, in looking at our own campus and our need to do better in dismantling institutional barriers to equity and inclusion.

Each of us, together, makes culture. If we are to achieve a truly inclusive culture at UB, each of us must contribute to its creation. That means educating ourselves on systemic racism and other pervasive structural barriers to equality that exist in our society. We must also reflect honestly on our attitudes and behaviors and how they erect boundaries that make some people feel welcome and others excluded. The responsibility for inclusion does not fall solely on the people of color on this campus. I call on everyone at UB, and especially those who have not previously considered the work of inclusion to be their responsibility, to ask yourself what you can do to become an agent of change.

Sincerely,

Despina Stratigakos 
Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence

The urgent need to come together as a community to discuss racism and institutional barriers and how we will overcome them to become a truly diverse and inclusive university is clear. Over the coming year, the Office of Inclusive Excellence will launch “Let’s Talk about Race,” a series of university-wide lectures, town halls, and other events to foster conversations toward achieving our goal of deep cultural and structural transformation.

Friday, June 19, 12:00-1:00pm

University Statements

School Statements

Organization and Institute Statements

Recent Inclusive Excellence Event

"Real Talk About Race" with Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington

Image of Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington smiling.

Date & Time: Friday, June 19, 12:00-1:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni

June 19, 1865 marks the day that Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas to let nearly 250,000 enslaved folks know that the government had emancipated them. Each year many in the African American community commemorate this emancipation in a celebration known as Juneteenth. Today, 155 years later, there is still work to be done. At this event, the UB community joined Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington, President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group for a real conversation about race, racism and the role of universities in moving society forward to the next round of freedom.

Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

A Call to Action: Town Hall With the Provost and Unit Diversity Officers at UB

Date & Time: Wednesday, July 15, 3:00-4:30pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni

This program brought together Provost A. Scott Weber and Unit Diversity Officers (UDOs) from UB schools to review the concerns about racial, institutional and social inequities faced by students, faculty, and staff, and to discuss constructive, actionable steps to address long-standing issues.

Presented by the Office of Inclusive Excellence

Additional University Events

Recognizing the Impact: Supporting Communities of Color during times of Crisis

Date & Time: Tuesday, August 18, 1:00-2:00pm (via Zoom)

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

This workshop focuses on exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on marginalized communities. This program will take an intersectional approach to identifying the various ways that these communities are uniquely affected by national crises. Additionally, facilitators will offer strategies for self/community care aimed at improving and maintaining mental wellness. Visit UB Calendar for more information.

Presented by Counseling Services

Past Events

The State of Race and Racism at the University at Buffalo

Date & Time: Wednesday, July 29, 1:00-2:30pm (via Zoom)

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

A conversation with faculty and students who will share their lived experiences of racism on campus and offer ways to improve racial injustices and systemic racism at the University at Buffalo. Visit UB Calendar for more information. 

Advance registration is required by July 27. Register here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting and an email address to submit any question you have for the panelists.

Presented by the The Minority Faculty and Staff Association

Student Association Town Hall on Racial Injustice

Date & Time: Thursday, July 16, 3:00-5:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni, Open to the Public

The Student Association held a town hall to address racial injustice and systemic racism on our campus and how to best confront it on an institutional level. The first hour was a panel discussion centered on the issues the Black community at UB faces from faculty, staff, and student perspectives and how best to work towards a more inclusive community for Black faculty, staff, and students at UB. The second hour, guests and audience members had an opportunity to voice their thoughts and concerns through an open discussion.  

Presented by the Student Association

Forum: Why Racial Equity and Anti-Racism?

Date & Time: Tuesday, July 14, 1:00-3:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff, Students and Alumni, Open to the Public

Davarian L. Baldwin, a leading scholar and social theorist of urban America, spoke as part of a public, online forum on racial equity and anti-racism. A panel discussion and open question-and-answer session followed his talk.

Presented by UB Community Health Equity Research Institute and Buffalo Center for Health Equity

Listening and Supporting our SPPS Family on Injustice and Discrimination Forum

Date & Time: Tuesday, June 30, 4:00pm (via Zoom) 

Intended Audience: School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty, Staff, Students, and Alumni

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences held an online town hall meeting to share thoughts and feelings on injustice towards anyone and discrimination of any kind. Everyone in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences family (students, staff, faculty, and alumni) were welcome and encouraged to join the forum. Visit UB Calendar for more information.   

Presented by the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Town Hall on Racial Injustice: Listen, Learn, and Act

Date & Time: Friday, June 26, 12:00-1:00 pm

Intended Audience: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculty, Staff and Students

The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is holding a Town Hall on racial inequities and injustices in the school. Questions, concerns, and ideas will be solicited ahead of the Town Hall using an online submission form. Town Hall moderators will use the submissions to guide the panel discussion. The submissions will also be used to shape our short and long term priorities and action plans. The event will be live streamed.  Visit SEAS website for more information.

Presented by the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Graduate Student Feedback Sessions

Date & Time: Tuesday, June 16, 6:00pm, Friday, June 19, 11:00am, Tuesday June 23, 11:00am (register)

Intended Audience: UB Graduate Students

The Graduate School hosted a series of virtual sessions where graduate students voiced their concerns and challenges experienced as a result of racial bias. The main concepts from these sessions will be compiled and shared with the Graduate School Executive Committee and leaders of graduate education across the campus, including directors of graduate studies so that collectively we can determine a course of action that will move us forward as a graduate community. All sessions were intended for UB graduate students and were facilitated by a member of the Graduate School team. Questions about these sessions can be directed to Monica Carter at mjcarter@buffalo.edu.

Presented by the Graduate School 

School of Nursing Town Hall for Students

Date & Time: Monday, June 15, 5:00pm (via Zoom)

Intended Audience: School of Nursing Students

This town hall will provide students with a space to share feelings about the recent and past acts of violence and racial injustice, along with your ideas about actions the School of Nursing can take to address racial injustice and racism and improve and support diversity. This event is only for School of Nursing Students.

Presented by the School of Nursing

Panel Discussion: George Floyd, Race and Policing

Date & Time: Thursday, June 11, 3:00pm (via Zoom)

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

The law school will host a panel discussion featuring Prof. Luis Chiesa, Director of the Buffalo Criminal Law Center; Prof. Athena Mutua, Floyd H. & Hilda L. Hurst Faculty Scholar; and Prof. Anthony O’Rourke, Director of our Advocacy Institute. The panel is open to all members of the law school and University community and will address the ways in which law, policing and race intersect, especially in the context of the use of force by police against people of color. Visit UB Calendar for more information.

Presented by the School of Law

School of Management Town Hall

Date & Time: Wednesday, June 10, 9:00am

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

Presented by the School of Management

Jacobs School to Niagara Square March

A contingent from the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences took part in a "White Coats 4 Black Lives" march from the Jacobs School to Niagara Square on Friday, June 5 . 

Jacobs School Student National Medical Association (SNMA) "Racism is a Public Health Issue" video

Community Listening Sessions on Racialized Violence and Trauma

Date & Time: Tuesday June 2, 2:00-3:00pm, Wendesday June 3, 2:00-3:00pm, Thursday June 4, 10:00-11:00am, and Friday June 5, 10:00-11:00am.

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

In response to the recent incidents, Counseling Services hosted virtual drop-in community listening workshops that focus on recognizing and coping with racialized trauma. Listening Sessions provided an opportunity for the UB community to share how they have been emotionally and psychologically impacted by recent incidents of racialized violence in the U.S. and the subsequent civil unrest that has followed. Ways to identify peaceful action, inclusivity, coping and support were also discussed.

Presented by Counseling Services

Turning Despair Into Action: UBSSW Community Responds

Date & Time: Thursday, June 4, 7:00-9:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

In remembrance of George Floyd and the countless other African Americans and other people of color who have senselessly lost their lives at the hands of institutional and systemic racism, we invite you to join the "Check-In, Move Forward" virtual event hosted by UBSSW faculty, staff and students.

Presented by the School of Social Work

Supporting our Community: Advocating for Change and Inclusion

Date & Time: Thursday June 4, 6:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

Town Hall meeting with speaker Dr. Donald Grant Jr., Psychologist and Executive Director of Center for Community & Social Impact​ at Pacific Oaks College. Dr. Grant provided a  contextual sistory of racism in America. 

Presented by the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and the Diversity Inclusion and Learning Environment Committee (DIALE)

Supporting our Community and Advocating for Racial Justice

Date & Time: Thursday June 4, 5:00pm

Intended Audience: UB Faculty, Staff and Students

Online town hall meeting for community members to share their thoughts on how the racial injustice and tragic deaths of George Floyd and other young Black Americans have impacted them. They also welcome suggestions on what the School of Dental Medicine can do to foster a more diverse and inclusive community.

Presented by the School of Dental Medicince, and the School of Dental Medicine Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Graduate School of Education: Conversation for Faculty and Staff

Date & Time: Thursday June 4, 1:00-2:30pm

Intended Audience: GSE Faculty and Staff

Presented by the Graduate School of Education

Additional Resources

Black Lives Matter: Essential Reading

The nationwide reckoning with longstanding racial injustice in America -- in education, employment, housing, medical care, voting rights, and above all in the criminal justice system -- has gained unstoppable momentum recently. Visit the #BLM Reading Guide for some of the books that fuel this struggle.  Suggestions for additions or changes are most welcome, and should be addressed to Michael Kicey.

Presented by the University Libraries

UBNow Articles

7/9/20

UB law professor Athena Mutua offers her thoughts on the police and other issues raised during the recent weeks of social protests.

7/2/20

Virtual panel members discussed racial inequities, macroaggressions and microaggressions, and white privilege.

6/30/20

Urban studies expert Henry Louis Taylor Jr. says this moment in history calls for a broad reimagining of societal institutions.

6/23/20

Cecil Foster says George Floyd’s death and the protests over his killing have brought the country to “what could be a new abolitionist moment.”

6/23/20

Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington tells a UB online audience that intent, engagement and transparency are all key to a real conversation about race.

6/22/20

The council, comprised of faculty, staff, students and alumni, will address issues of race and culture at UB.

6/18/20

Researchers halt their usual activities for a day for #ShutDownSTEM, taking action against racism in science and academia.

6/17/20

Faculty members Luis Chiesa, Athena Mutua and Anthony O’Rourke addressed how the law overlaps with many issues brought to the forefront by George Floyd’s death.

6/10/20

Cecil Foster says the protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death speak to and illustrate a flawed notion of citizenship in the U.S.

6/8/20

Students, medical residents, faculty and administrators are speaking out against racism and injustice, and launching new initiatives.

6/4/20

Urban studies expert Henry Louis Taylor Jr. says race and anti-racism — instead of terms like diversity and inclusion — must return to the center of discussions about inequity in the U.S.