EECS Stands Against Racism
This message was sent to the entire EECS community on Tuesday, June 2 in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Dear EECS Community,
It is impossible to deny the continuing role of systemic anti-Black racism and police brutality in America, especially in light of recent events. We lament and condemn the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the racism that underlies, causes, and tolerates these injustices.
Racism and discrimination are in stark contrast to our core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. While many in EECS are striving to reduce racial inequalities, there is clearly much more work to be done.
In times of pain and crisis we must stand together as a community. We would like to share the following:
- We ask faculty to acknowledge recent events in their classes and to reach out to their students and postdocs. We ask faculty and staff supervisors to reach out to the people they supervise.
- We ask faculty to give some allowances to students who are affected by the events. While class schedules are specific, allowances may include reasonable extensions. We acknowledge that circumstances and experiences vary, and encourage students, staff and faculty to interpret involvement in these events very broadly. You need not be physically affected for these events to impact your lives.
- We ask supervisors to give some allowances to staff who may benefit from time off or similar relief to process these events.
- We encourage students to attend President Schlissel’s student town hall on June 5 at noon, and faculty/staff to attend the Rackham LEAD Seminar “I Can’t Breathe” — A Call to Action for Leaders in Higher Education on June 12 at noon.
- We invite you to attend EECS community gatherings at 1pm-2pm EDT on Wednesday, June 3 and again at 11am-noon on Friday, June 5. We don’t claim to have any answers, but we want to hear from you, to give us a chance to talk to each other, to commiserate, to express outrage or concern, and to speak of action and hope.
Please take care of yourselves and each other during these stressful times, and take advantage of the following support services:
- Students: Michigan Engineering CARE Center or U-M Counseling and Psychological Services
- Faculty and staff: Faculty and Staff Counseling and Consultation Office (FASCCO)
- Supportive Responses and Call for Action
- CSE Resources to Support Inclusion
- ECE DEI current initiatives and info
As U-M’s Chief Diversity Officer, Robert Sellers, eloquently writes, many are very tired of such events, even as we hold out hope that action and respect will lead to change for the better.
Please contact any of us with questions, concerns or comments. Wes Weimer and Herb Winful are happy to have confidential conversations.
In Sincere Solidarity,
Interim Chair, Computer Science and Engineering
Peter and Evelyn Fuss Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Chair of CSE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee
Joseph E. and Anne P. Rowe Professor of Electrical Engineering
ECE Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lead