The Graduate School’s Commitment to Anti-Racism and Social Justice

April 29, 2021

Last week, one man was held accountable for a murder that was performed in broad daylight.

But injustice still abounds.  True justice would mean that Black Americans no longer face the threat of state violence, and that Asian Americans are free from the dual insults of race- and gender-based violence and erasure. 

We in the URI Graduate School are heartbroken by these recent tragedies and infuriated by the steady, relentless pace at which they continue to occur.  For many years, we have been committed to serving as  agents of change, and we are steadfast in that commitment.  During the past year, we have delivered on that promise:

  • We have met with deans, program directors, and graduate faculty specifically for the purpose of changing graduate admission practices to remove implicit bias.  
  • The Graduate School’s Diversity and Inclusion Badge has continued to grow and is expanding its enrollment to include students and professionals from other universities and organizations.
  • The Diversity and Inclusion Badge is a model program at URI that has inspired the creation of a parallel program for faculty and staff.
  • The First-Year Dean’s Diversity Fellowship was created by strategically reallocating funds towards recruiting outstanding scholars into programs that have demonstrated efforts to provide welcoming and inclusive training environments

 The Graduate School is committed to leading the University and our community in creating equitable opportunities for our students and in pursuing justice for those who have suffered.  The goal is not simply to create safe spaces to protect students of color, but to create brave spaces where they can thrive.

Black lives matter.  Asian lives matter.  Immigrant lives matter.  Indigenous lives matter.  Trans lives matter. And the lives of our students who have been marginalized matter.  We are committed to leading the pursuit of truth and reconciliation that will be needed to bring justice and transform our community.             

Brenton DeBoef                                      Alycia Mosley Austin 
Interim Dean, Graduate School               Interim Associate Dean, Graduate School