To the Campus Community,
With the conclusion of the fall semester, we enter a period of holidays and celebrations across many faiths, cultures and traditions. Common threads across these celebrations are messages of hope, peace, love, reflection, caring and service. This fall we entered Year Five of our DEI Strategic Plan, held our first virtual DEI Summit and published our annual DEI progress report in a web-based format.
We have announced a number of initiatives focusing on anti-racism, where anti-racism efforts are currently underway across the academic campus and Michigan Medicine. From a national racial reckoning to the COVID-19 pandemic to a divisive election season, 2020 has been an extremely challenging year, and it is likely we will face continued and new challenges throughout the winter term.
Throughout this time, I have been heartened by our community’s ability to discuss problems and create solutions together. Our commitment to change for the better – from our own community to the greater society – truly speaks to the principles of diversity equity and inclusion.
Though we still have far to go to reach our goals, I am constantly encouraged by the knowledge that we are no longer at the beginning of our struggle to ensure that the principles of DEI are ingrained in who we are, and who we aspire to be. We must continue our commitment in the new year to do the critical work needed to forge tangible change.
Again, as we think back to how difficult 2020 has been, please remember the prophetic words of Frederick Douglass, “If there is no struggle, there is no progress.”
I wish you all good health, rest and rejuvenation during the extended winter break. Let’s all find safe and healthy ways to celebrate the winter season, and to reach out to one another to provide and seek support. I look forward to 2021 and all that we can accomplish together.