Statement of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement

June 17, 2020

Black Lives Matter. But injustice abounds.

We in the URI Graduate School are appalled by the recent killings of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and countless others who were murdered by those who anticipated impunity. These violent acts are the culmination of insidious systemic racism in our society. And this blight must be stamped out.

We acknowledge the unequal burden that Black graduate students face, striving to excel while battling bias, discrimination, isolation, and legacies of racial trauma. The graduate community must do better to create a climate where Black graduate students are safe, respected, heard, and valued.

We pledge to be agents of change. Specifically, the Deans of the Graduate School will take the following actions:

  • Meet with each program to evaluate and improve admissions practices by removing any systemic racial barriers for the admission of graduate students.
  • Continue to promote and expand the Diversity and Inclusion Badge program, a micro-credential that is focused on issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice. It is free and available for any Graduate Student at URI.
  • Work with the URI Office of Community, Equity, and Diversity to create guidance and training for our faculty and colleagues to better mentor Black graduate students.

We, along with the URI Leadership, stand in solidarity with our Black students, colleagues,and allies who seek justice and change in our society because Black Lives Matter.

Brenton DeBoef
Interim Dean, Graduate School

Alycia Mosley Austin
Interim Associate Dean, Graduate School

Nasser H. Zawia
Former Dean, Graduate School