Hate has no haven at UB.
- UB President Satish Tripathi 3/18/2021
We, the Professional Staff Senate (PSS) Inclusion and Diversity Committee, commend President Tripathi for succinctly and clearly summarizing UB’s stance in the wake of the recent Anti-Asian and misogynistic killings that took the lives of:
We share our sorrow with their families and friends, and also with Elcias R Hernandez-Ortiz, the only survivor of the shooting spree, and his family.
We fully acknowledge that this was not a random act. We recognize that Anti-Asian violence in the U.S. has deep historical roots and has been on the rise since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also recognize that violence against women has been an epidemic for centuries. Lastly, we acknowledge this tragedy will undoubtedly deeply affect many of our students and colleagues here at UB, especially those of Asian descent.
For support and more information, please consider exploring these resources:
As we originally committed in June 2020, we continue to pledge that we will fight against racial injustice in its many forms, and that we will support and uplift each other in these endeavors. This tragedy reminds us all that we need to examine how racism, xenophobia and misogyny can intersect to cause extreme harm, and our committee pledges to take active steps to do so over the next year. Hate has no haven at UB.
As the official University body to represent the interests and concerns of the UB Professional Staff, the Professional Staff Senate (PSS) stands firm with #BlackLivesMatter, denouncing racism, bigotry, and prejudice in all of its many ugly forms. Recent events have painted in bold relief the undeniable fact that systemic racism exists and thrives in our country. As university staff, it is incumbent upon each and every one of us to forcefully and unequivocally take a stand against this and any other injustice.
We are heartbroken by the events of the past few weeks. They serve as a sharp reminder that racial injustice remains a deeply rooted issue in our world. The senseless killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others, must be addressed in the form of real societal change. Furthermore, as a collective organization of UB staff, we acknowledge the extreme pain that individuals and communities (within and outside of UB) are experiencing due to COVID-19 disproportionately impacting communities of color. We need to stamp out hatred and begin to heal the deep divisions in our country. We start with a call to action at UB.
Even as we write this, time is moving forward. The remembrance of Juneteenth, the celebration of Pride Month, the honoring of 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and our eventual return to campus are among the experiences soon to be upon us. Recently, we were all challenged to be #UBuffaloStrong together. As members of the University at Buffalo Professional Staff, we strive to be #UBuffaloStrong by taking actions to break down systemic oppression all around us. Specifically, we ask that each UB professional staff member take at least one active step to accomplish this goal, by participating in the University’s newly announced “Let’s Talk about Race” series, reading a book to develop your knowledge about how bias affects us all, or any other action that fits your personal situation.
PSS will begin by supporting new initiatives from the PSS Inclusion and Diversity committee to:
We continue with a renewed reassurance and commitment, pervasive through the outreach of the PSS, to fight against racial injustice and its many harms, in the hope of empowering UB staff to live healthier lives in a healthier environment.
To the entire UB community and particularly to our Black and African-American colleagues: we see you, we hear you, and above all, we are here to support you. We are all in this together #UBuffaloStrong.
We support the University mission by contributing to a welcoming and inclusive University community by educating ourselves about our differences while simultaneously celebrating and respecting our diversity.
We will endeavor to make use of our strengths and empathy as a community of individuals in order to challenge oppressive systems particularly those that perpetuate and encourage hatred, intolerance and bigotry.
Throughout the year, the PSS Inclusion and Diversity Committee:
Chair: Jessica Coram
Co-Chairs: Mary Clare Fahey and Vivian Jimenez
Current Members: Kim Behun, Tanya Biscardi, Chris Bragdon, Ivy Colon, Giambattista Davis, Jessica DiPasquale, Rachel DiDomizio, Lynn Emminger, Don Erb, Lauren Galgovich, Heather Hagenbuch, Eileen Hassett, Caitlin Hoekstra, Danielle Johnson, Anyango Kamina, Cindy Konovitz, Larissa Kowalczyk, Susan Mann Dolce, Neil McGillicuddy, Sherene Milizia, Derek Nichols, Jesse O'Reilly, Darren Portis, Ashley Regling, Zaviera Reyes, Suzy Shallowhorn, Aaron Shaw, Laura Silverman, Karyn St. George, Jared Strohl, Meg Syrell, Tim Tryjankowski, Tony Waleszczak