Reminder: Invitation for DSA to Act!
The following message was sent to Division of Student Affairs staff on June 23, 2020 from Vice President for Student Affairs, Patty Perillo.
Dear Student Affairs Colleagues,
I hope this note finds you healthy, well and safe.
About a month ago, you received a letter from me that invited Black colleagues to be in community with one another, as bringing people together is an important part of the process for healing and moving forward together well. These community gatherings have happened. It is my commitment to find ways to facilitate more invitations for such spaces. And, as encouraging white folx to continue to do their own work is important, colleagues were also invited to join a book read. Education is another path forward for transformation and reformation to happen and continued learning opportunities will be provided.
Last week you received the invitation below. Thanks to the well over one hundred of you that have already responded. I wanted to send a reminder that there is more time to register (by the end of the day tomorrow – go.umd.edu/dsaconversation). The purpose of our time together this Friday is to focus on the policies, procedures and practices which the Division of Student Affairs engages in that do not allow for a more inclusive and equitable environment. Focusing on such matters is another rightful path forward in creating the campus community we espouse we want to co-create together. Community building, education and policy review are important strategies, amongst others, we will continue to employ.
As I have been working with our Student Affairs Diversity Initiative (SADI) leadership to plan for Friday, I wanted to give you a sense of how we will spend our time together during this important conversation. First, and importantly, as we center our discussion on Blackness we will work in racial affinity group spaces for most of our time together including: Black; Cross Racial; Non-Black People of Color; and White.
You will be invited to answer a few questions within your racial affinity group spaces during our conversation. Once you register, you will receive an email that allows you to sign-up for your racial affinity group as well as will provide you with the questions to consider for our time together on Friday. SADI leadership will facilitate these conversations.
Please know that our conversation on Friday will not be a one-and-done kind of conversation. We will capture important information from this discussion about the policies, practices and procedures we need to examine to ensure we are creating an anti-racist culture. We will also use the data collected from the invitation below in which you send us your ideas (thanks to the many who have already contributed). And, of course, we will use data that has been collected over the past five years. We will create a comprehensive list, publish it and develop a plan of response. This will become our guide and work together for some time.
I hope this email helps to set the stage for a meaningful and productive discussion this Friday. It will be one of many as we work together to create a more humane and just campus community for all.
Thanks for your contributions. I look forward to leading and learning with and from you!
Stay healthy - Patty
Patty Perillo, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs