TO: Campus community
FR: Karen Moranski, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Joyce Lopes, Vice President for Administration and Finance
Wm. Gregory Sawyer, Vice President for Student Affairs
Jerlena Griffin-Desta, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Diversity
As our nation awaits the jury’s verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial, we are reminded that our country’s aspiration of freedom and equality for all is far from fully being realized.
The violent and senseless death of George Floyd gave rise to a profound national and international reflection on issues of systemic racism. And, at Sonoma State University, we reaffirm our core values and Seawolf Commitment to place diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of how we meet our mission to our students, faculty, staff, community, state, and society.
Many of us wish to express our solidarity with Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian and Pacific Islander communities and raise our voices to denounce racism, inequality, and violence. We acknowledge that many in our community are tired of seeing yet another new violent video, by the constant fear of harm befalling a family member or a friend, or by simply tuning in to the evening news.
Because we know that it is helpful to talk and share our feelings, we invite you to join one of the hour-long group discussions planned to provide a space to openly express feelings and have a dialogue about issues of race that we are collectively facing and how we might address them. The student conversations will feature a panel of student leaders to facilitate, and members of the campus administration will help facilitate conversations planned for faculty and staff. Please sign up for the group discussion you are interested in attending:
Additionally, SSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services is available to any student seeking support at (707) 664-2153 and our Employee Assistance Program, LifeMatters by Empathia, is available to support staff and faculty.
At Sonoma State, we affirm our commitment to the highest standards of civility and social responsibility. We recognize the right of every individual to think, speak, express, and peacefully protest as one believes and/or to disagree with another point of view while also observing state and federal laws and university regulations governing time, place, and manner.
We encourage all of us to remain steadfast in our commitment to being an informed, respectful, and healthy NomaNation. Let us join in a renewed commitment to seeing our country’s founding promise of justice and equality for all move closer to reality. To do our part, we must listen to each other with empathy, understand with humble eagerness, and build relationships with those different than ourselves.