Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Carol Sumner, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer for the Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, released a statement to the campus community on Wednesday.
Read the letter below:
"Dear Texas Tech University Family,
On Saturday, May 30, 2020, President Schovanec issued a letter to our Texas Tech University family addressing the brutal murder of Mr. George Floyd in Minnesota. I echo President Schovanec's commitment and I am devoted to engaging, supporting, and celebrating our community through diversity, equity and inclusion. The recent acts of racism and racial violence are extremely upsetting and heighten the concerns of so many in our community. These acts violate everything we stand for as a Red Raider community. As your Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, it is my responsibility to foster community-wide conversations and ensure that we are focused on education and action that creates a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. Working together over the last 2 years, we have begun to make progress addressing the complex questions of racism, justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Working together, we have developed new resources, programs, and events for our campus and community.
As we make plans to return to campus, know that the action items we outlined in our town hall meeting in March remain a priority. The following actions will resume upon our return to campus:
- Form the leadership committee that will help plan the development of a new Black Cultural Center at Texas Tech.
- Develop a Texas Tech Inter-Cultural Center in the SUB.
- Increase the display of art and other works by artists from diverse backgrounds, including Black and African-American artists.
- Organize events to promote and enhance connections between Texas Tech and the East Lubbock community.
The Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion provides a host of programs and services to support students of all ages — from kindergarten through college. The Office of Institutional Diversity also has a number of resources for faculty, staff, and community engagement. We are also developing a number of new online resources that will be available through the DDEI website. In partnership with the Texas Tech Library, we're developing a virtual book list covering topics such as the history of diverse groups in the U.S. and how to be an ally to minoritized and marginalized communities. We continue to develop new resources, training, and educational experiences that will be shared through our website and in-person when we return to campus.
We must understand the realities that some experience, and ensure no person feels unsafe or targeted. We cannot allow individuals to feel less than another because of the color of their skin, their country of origin, or other individual characteristics or identities. Together, we must work to make our community a place where diversity is welcome and racist acts are unacceptable, where the voices and experiences of Black and African-American members of our community are heard with compassion and understanding, and those who have power and privilege use them to advance the causes of social justice and equity. As Red Raiders, we have a responsibility, individually and collectively, to do our part to ensure that no one is left to feel alone or that they need to be anything other than themselves to be valued and cared for.
Let's get back to the work at hand.
Yours in the work,
Dr. Carol A. Sumner
Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer
Texas Tech University"