Dear Engineering Community,
It is important for us to acknowledge the heartache, anger and sorrow that many of you, your families or other loved ones are feeling due to the recent killings of George Floyd and so many others in the black community. We are also frustrated and hurt.
As engineering faculty and students, it is often too easy to compartmentalize technical issues away from issues of social justice. We tend to “stick to the data” and “solve the technical problem.” In the context of recent events (and the history they expose) this tendency to compartmentalize comes up short. When we “stick to the data,” many around us suffer in silence. We are more than engineers, we are humans and when one human suffers, we all suffer.
All this is to say: The College of Engineering is committed to social justice, equity, diversity and inclusion as a community of students, staff and faculty. The recent killings and the systems that support these tragic outcomes for marginalized or oppressed people are not our values. For those suffering, we see you. For students impacted by civil unrest, please stay safe and know that we are here to support you. For those students, staff and faculty with privilege, act today, be an ally, let others see your non-engineering identity. We stand in solidarity with those marginalized individuals and groups who have been traumatized.
These are complex social issues that impact the work we do as engineers. We do not have all the answers, but there are many resources available as we navigate these issues. We recommend Ibram Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist, or, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor’s From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, or Robin D’Angelo’s White Fragility. In addition to these excellent books, the College of Engineering has been actively working to promote an equitable and inclusive community, including:
Promoting the development and adoption of diversity, equity and inclusion statements by departments, individual faculty and student clubs and IRA organizations.
Implementing inclusive faculty hiring guidelines, beginning in the Fall of 2019.
Completing a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan for the 2020 academic year (more details to come).
We understand the confluence of everything happening in our world today makes finishing the quarter more difficult. We offer the list of resources below and encourage you to find time and space to care for yourself. We also ask everyone to be patient and flexible with each other.
In community and solidarity,
Amy Fleischer, Dean
Rakesh Goel, Executive Associate Dean
Robert Crockett, Associate Dean for Innovation Infrastructure
Eric Mehiel, Associate Dean for Diversity and Student Success
Kim Marsalek, Director, Engineering Student Services
Campus Counseling Services 24/7 Crisis Line (805) 756-2511
SLO Counseling Service at Cal Poly (805) 756-1532
Transitions Mental Health SLO 24/7 Hotline: (800) 783-0607