Dear Western Community,
In the midst of this pandemic, as we all struggle with loss and fear, we have seen the disproportionate impact of the virus on communities of color and been confronted with the painful evidence of inequity which persists all around us. In the last weeks we have also seen racist violence end the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, and threaten the life of Christian Cooper. The multiplication of threats which impact our African-American and Black colleagues, friends, students, and neighbors right now is a heavy burden. As President of Western Washington University, I urge every member of our community to consider the ways systems of oppression and violence harm us and others, and to find ways to support and uphold members of our community who are suffering right now. While we are distant from each other, the simple act of checking in with friends and colleagues, of reaching out, is more important and more powerful than ever.
Western’s support systems, including the Counseling Center and the Employee Assistance Program, remain open and available, even while we are away from campus. If you have experienced discrimination or harassment, the Equal Opportunity Office is also open, and can assist you. Please know that we are here for you, and for all the members of our Western community, in this time of struggle and loss.