Dear social sciences community,

We are just beginning to learn the details of a horrifying incident, captured on video and circulating via social media, in which a UC Irvine student was potentially involved in perpetrating a violent attack on a protestor who was part of a peaceful demonstration in support of Black lives Saturday afternoon in Visalia, CA. While we wait to learn more, we must defend the core values we stand for as an institution: mutual respect for one another, diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

In a time where our country continues to witness violence on Black lives rooted in racism, we must stand up to the injustice. Our hearts are heavy but our resolve firm. This latest incident brings home the ongoing effects of historical and structural wrongs that Black and racialized communities face daily. Recent events - the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Marquez Arbery; the threat against Christian Cooper in Central Park; the disparities in health care revealed by Black and Latinx mortality rates from COVID-19 - have only served to highlight the inequities in society and the privilege that certain groups can enjoy while looking away.

Today, we call on members of our community to reflect on where we stand with respect to these various incidents. The School of Social Sciences is committed to the difficult conversations that we, as a society, must seriously and rigorously continue if we are to stitch a new moral fabric. It is clear we must work harder to help our students learn how to value diversity and multiculturalism while addressing racism and racist violence in all its forms. The healing of our community will be facilitated by courses, forums, and programs that promote such learning and address the racial perceptual gap between groups. We will be announcing such courses and programs in due time. The continued cultivation of an inclusive student campus environment driven by advocacy for our values will remain central in our efforts. There is hard work ahead. Together, we stand stronger in our work toward positive change and transformation.

Bill Maurer, Dean
Belinda Robnett, Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Diversity
Jeanett Castellanos, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Michael McBride, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies

Racial Equity Leaders, Media Outlets, and Organizations to Follow
Color of Change
DJ Ome (Instagram)
UC Berkeley's Othering & Belonging Institute
The Obama Foundation
AAPI Civic Engagement Fund
The Atlantic

Insights on COVID-19 & Racial Disparities
For many Blacks and Latinos in L.A., neighborhood conditions make safer-at-home orders harder by UCLA
Stop Blaming Black People for Dying of the Coronavirus by Ibram X. Kendi
Don't Fixate on the Racial Wealth Gap: Focus on Undoing its Root Causes by Anne Price

Health & Wellness
Don't let physical isolation become emotional isolation by john a. Powell
The Importance Of Self-preservation For Black Leaders Amid COVID-19 by Alicia Garza

Resources for Organizations

Solidarity in a time of Crisis
Standing with our Asian American community against racism, hate and fear by The Greenlining Institute
White People Standing Up to Anti-Asian Racism During a Pandemic by Teaching While White

Insight from UCI social scientists featured in recent media
Sabrina Strings, Sociology, The New York Times and author of Fat Phobia
Bocar Ba, Economics, Twitter
Cailin O'Connor and Jim Weatherall, Logic & Philosophy of Science, Boston Review
Claire Jean Kim, Political Science, Daily Kos and The Guardian
Davin Phoenix, Political Science, Broadway World and author of The Anger Gap
Michael Tesler, Political Science, The Washington Post and author of Post-Racial or Most-Racial?


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