This message was sent to CCS Students and Faculty on June 4, 2020
To our dear CCS community,
For several months, we have watched the news unfold. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and other Black Americans are part of a long, brutal history of racism in this country. We, along with many of you, are compelled to speak out against the violence inflicted on Black bodies and spirits. We have heard statements from our CCS students in recent days expressing their grief and concern. Black lives matter.
The effects of this violence and discrimination have never been restricted to one state, one region, or one community, and UCSB is no exception. Today, Black students are not represented proportionally on our campus or in our College. We cannot make progress without acknowledging these truths. Racism and its bitter fruits can only be rooted out with an unwavering commitment to listen, connect, and reflect on how our own words and actions may sometimes be wrong. And then we must act.
We must resolve to do better, and we can say with confidence that the College of Creative Studies has never been short on resolve. We are researchers, thinkers, and creators; we have the skills to challenge ourselves to listen and think about painful subjects that demand our attention.
We are discussing what avenues for dialogue we can facilitate here at CCS, both in the immediate future and as part of a long-term commitment. We will implement new strategies for growth as soon as possible. Please know that we look forward to the participation of CCS’s students, faculty, and alumni in these conversations.
One of the ideas that has been proposed by a CCS student, which we are eager to implement, is the formation of a CCS Diversity Committee. We envision that this Diversity Committee will comprise CCS students, faculty, and staff, and you can expect to see more information from us on this subject over the summer months. We are confident that many among you would be passionate about an organization whose mission would center on inclusion and opportunity within the College. Our goal is that we will have this committee in place by the beginning of Fall quarter.
In this time, there are many helpful resources you can seek out to educate yourself. Nationally recognized organizations include the NAACP and the ACLU; Santa Barbara hosts local chapters of Black Lives Matter and Showing Up for Racial Justice; and UCSB’s Black Student Union is @blackatsb. UCSB’s Black Studies program and Feminist Studies program have also put out meaningful statements and worthwhile resources for everyone to see and share. A public Anti-Racist Resource Guide has been shared widely on social media, and contains lists and links to many different kinds of relevant materials.
We are committed to taking meaningful action alongside the rest of the CCS community, and we want to learn and grow together.
The CCS Staff
Lynn Clark, Jen Johansen, Marianne Morris, Christin Palmstrom, Savannah Parison, Megan Peterson
Interim Dean, Bruce H. Tiffney
Dean Designate, Gerardo Aldana
Associate Dean, Leroy E. Laverman