Rising sophomore Scholars students, as well as Scholars alumni who are rising juniors and seniors, received the following message today from College Park Scholars:
The events in Minneapolis 10 days ago, and those that have since unfolded across the country, have been difficult to witness for us all. But I know this has been a particularly devastating 10 days for the Black students, alumni, faculty and staff in our Scholars community. The brutality and inhumane treatment shown by police and some citizens toward George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and many, many others, has been a lived truth for Black Americans since the birth of this country. That this is happening while a disproportionate number of Black lives are being lost to COVID-19 only adds to the anguish.
I write to you today to state without equivocation that here in Scholars, Black lives matter. College Park Scholars was founded on the values of diversity and inclusivity, and we operate on the principle that each of us has an important contribution to make to this community. We remain committed to providing a safe, affirming space where our students can bring their whole selves, listen intently to one another, and build common experiences, even as we celebrate our differences.
This campus still bears the stain of the deaths of Lt. Richard Collins III and Jordan McNair. I believe, however, that an exchange of ideas can be the first step in bringing us closer to seeing and understanding one another.
Scholars has long provided space for students to speak and reflect, not least through our student organizations, Real Talk and Cambridge Community Queers and Allies. We are building upon this framework and will soon be providing opportunities for our students—whether you identify as Black, white, or a non-Black person of color—to share your feelings, exchange ideas, and consider what we can, as individuals and as a community, do to assure that Scholars is not simply not racist but is actively and resolutely antiracist.
We will touch base very soon with more details. In the meantime, here are some resources that could be useful to get each of us started on this path:
- Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s #UMDSolidarity
- Resources for Black healing
- Thread of mental health resources for Black students
- Anti-racism resources for white people
- Affirming Black lives without inducing trauma
This is an exhausting and confusing time, on many levels. I encourage you to make use of our campus resources. And, if you are not ready to engage with others right now, please know that this is only the beginning of our efforts to ensure a safe, diverse, and inclusive space for our students.
In the meantime, if you would like to talk individually with any member of the Scholars faculty or staff, please reach out. Our doors are open. We are here for you.
Dr. Marilee Lindemann
Executive Director, College Park Scholars