Anti-racism Commitment

June 23, 2020

Dr.Kimberly MooreDr. Kimberly MooreOver the past few weeks, as we have been bearing witness to a national movement protesting racial injustice, you have heard from many. You have read multiple statements. . . perhaps one more is one too many. But this is not a statement; it’s a commitment. As your Dean of Students I am charged with your care and this is my most important professional commitment.

With your care in mind, I advocate, listen, challenge, push for change, support, advise, counsel, and hold space for students. But I, like many, have fallen short. There is still work to be done, especially for Black, Indigenous, and students of color who have carried the emotional labor and pain caused by racism, bigotry and systemic injustice for too long. Miami University and its interdependent communities have relied on its espoused values of Love and Honor but that has not been enough to create sustained, meaningful change — change that would push Miami beyond survivable to thrivable for its minoritized students.

I acknowledge my significant privilege as a white woman and commit to actively interrogate my experiences. I commit to continue listening, learning, and unlearning so I can advocate and take action to improve the experience of students who are disproportionately impacted by racism, white supremacy, and acts representing systemic injustice.

It should not be controversial to call on our white students to investigate their own privilege, to denounce racism, and to say Black Lives Matter. If this calls forth discomfort, I encourage you to ask why. Start with these anti-racism resources to begin moving through that discomfort by learning, listening, and acting in ways that inspire change. And if you're not sure where to start and you need support, we’re here to help.

The work ahead will not be easy, but it is necessary. The heartbreaking and seemingly unending list of lost Black lives to police brutality and racially induced violence cannot be in vain. Let the memory of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Rayshard Brooks—whose lives and deaths amplified voices and catalyzed a movement for change—be the starting point to accelerate and advance systemic change on our campus. We must reimagine a community where our espoused and aspirational values are our enacted values.

You have my commitment to get to work. In collaboration with my team in the Office of the Dean of Students, my colleagues in Student Life, and strategic partners from across the University, here is where we will begin:

  • Develop, launch, and co-lead the Student Life Divisional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Team (with strong student representation)
  • Through the Divisional DEI Action Team we will develop an action plan and create and maintain a published dashboard, holding our division accountable to progress on DEI goals
  • Advocate for the expansion of the student DEI module and deeper anti-racism training for students and staff
  • Institutionalize a voter registration process
  • Advance the “systems inclusion project” to make Miami’s software systems, forms, and demographic data collection more inclusive
  • Dean of Students will hold regular resource hours at the Center for Student Diversity & Inclusion
  • Institutionalize DACA ally training
  • Advocate for improvements to the bias-incident reporting system
  • Launch a storytelling series amplifying historically silenced voices illuminating their Miami experiences
  • Support and assist campus partners with student activism and advocacy training
  • Work with students to generate a Hate speech vs. Free Speech dialogue series
  • Remain open to feedback and in partnership with students in all the above stated efforts

I understand this letter will cause discomfort for some. Discomfort is part of the learning process. It is a sign of growth. As your Dean, it is my charge to foster student growth and learning, as well as a safe, healthy, and respectful campus. I reaffirm this commitment to you today.

These are difficult times where you may need support or would like to talk with someone about how you're feeling. There are a number of staff at the University who are standing by ready to talk and listen. If this is of interest, please email deanofstudents@miamioh.edu and we will get you connected. If you have emergent needs the H.O.P.E. Line is available 24 hours a day.

Humbly and sincerely,

 

Kimberly A, Moore, Ed.D.
Associate Vice President and Dean of Students