A Letter to the Campus Community from Dr. Coleman
October 14, 2019
It breaks my heart that I find myself writing to you again about another troubling incident in our campus community. This weekend, while tailgating during the football game, one of our current students was assaulted. In the aftermath of the assault, questions have been raised about external over-policing, racial-profiling, and disproportionate responses in our community.
Aggies, we can do the right thing by standing up for those who have been harmed.
At Texas A&M, we develop leaders who value excellence, loyalty, and respect. Violence in our community is abhorrent and irreconcilable with the core values we hold most dear. Author and civil rights activist, James Baldwin, once said, “I can’t believe what you say, because I see what you do.” These are difficult words to read. Nonetheless, they are important for us all to consider. Students, faculty, staff, former students, law enforcement, university leaders, and community members -- As we value respect, we must be certain that our behaviors exemplify respect in every way and all of the time.
As I often say, our superpower as an institution of higher learning is education. University leaders have been engaging with community leaders, students, faculty, and staff to review current strategies and increase accountability to make our campus community inclusive, welcoming, and safe.
I encourage you to attend the previously-scheduled Difficult Dialogues on Campus Race Relations. The session is open to everyone. The event is on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, from 6:00-8:00 pm in Memorial Student Center (MSC) 2300D, Bethancourt Ballroom. This interactive workshop will use a small group format to facilitate discussions of race-related case studies and to collectively brainstorm ideas to make the campus more welcoming for all. You can register here:
I also invite you to mark your calendars for the Enhancing Diversity Seminar Series event “Making Texas Better: Racial Profiling and Human Rights” featuring presentations and a panel discussion by President Michael K. Young (Texas A&M), President Ruth Simmons (Prairie View A&M), and Professor Fatma Marouf (Texas A&M School of Law). This special event will take place Tuesday, March 17, 2020 in Rudder Theatre from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm.
In solidarity and peace,
Robin R. Means Coleman, PhD
Vice President and Associate Provost for Diversity