Our country, our city, and our campus reel in response to yet another killing of yet another unarmed African American man, George Floyd. Our Dietrich School community is heartbroken and enraged beyond measure.
Overwhelmed with grief and anger, we may be tempted to give in to despair. We may lose hope that things can be different. We may wonder how it will be possible to repair the wound in our nation’s soul that hundreds of years of injustice and inequity has caused. But now, more than ever, is a time for action. And for the kind of bold, necessary change that is beyond mere tweaks and adjustments to the status quo.
To our African American students, staff, and faculty who are carrying the terrible weight of fear and sorrow and fury, know that the Dietrich School stands with you and for you. To the allies who are searching for meaningful ways to engage in anti-racism work, I urge you to join me in listening to, learning from, and amplifying underrepresented voices. In the days, months, and years ahead, I hope everyone will take advantage of opportunities at Pitt and elsewhere to share the ideas, experiences, and expertise that will fuel progress toward eliminating racism and injustice near and far.
Kathleen M. Blee
Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean
Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and
College of General Studies
Distinguished Professor of Sociology