Dear NC State Community:
The appalling photos found in older editions of university yearbooks, including NC State’s Agromeck as recently as 1961, are stark and sad reminders of an abhorrent part of our nation’s history. Unfortunately, our university community was not immune to this ignorance and racism.
More unfortunate is that racism, bigotry and discrimination still exist in our society, and on our campuses of higher education. Although we’ve made good progress over the past many years, the fight is not over and there is still much to be accomplished.
I want to take this opportunity to publicly and strongly reiterate NC State’s deep commitment to our core values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Racism has no place at NC State, and we remain always vigilant in upholding, defending and promoting diversity and inclusion on campus and beyond. As a community, we must continually strive to enhance a culture that values empathy, respect, tolerance and equality for all. That’s what it means to be a part of the Wolfpack.
My hope, and challenge, is that the yearbook photos and the attention they are generating motivate us all to keep pushing forward toward a campus – and a society – without racism or other forms of intolerance.
NC State’s greatest strength is its people – all its people – and their diversity of thought and experience. I hope each and every one of you know and truly feel that you are welcomed, respected and valued as part of this special community.
I also want to remind our campus community of the many people, programs and resources available to students, faculty and staff to help advance the critical cause and culture of a supportive, diverse and inclusive campus. Following are just a few examples.
- If you ever personally experience or witness bias-related incidents, behaviors or actions, please inform the university’s Bias Impact Response Team immediately so the situation and individuals involved can be appropriately addressed.
- It is Black History Month and NC State’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, the African American Cultural Center and others have worked hard to organize many events, programs and opportunities for the NC State community to honor the legacies, histories and contributions of Black people across the Diaspora. I hope you will take advantage of this wonderful opportunity to be involved, learn, grow and advance our community.
- You can keep up with the latest diversity-related news, events, announcements and opportunities by subscribing to the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity’s (OIED) Diversity Digest. The Digest is published bi-monthly during the academic year and monthly during the summer.
- Also, please also review the Diversity web portal from the university’s homepage to find a wealth of information, including education and training resources, diversity and inclusion programs, details about NC State’s Campus Community Centers, an events calendar and more.
It will take all our university’s administrators, students, faculty and staff working together – as one Pack – to advance and ensure a truly diverse, inclusive and supportive campus culture for all. I am fully committed to this outcome and look forward to working alongside all of you on this critical effort.