University Statements and Letters
A Letter from Dean Anne Chapdelaine and Elizabeth Cardona
June 3, 2020
It is with thoughts of encouragement and inclusion we reach out to you this afternoon. In the face of not only Covid-19 and the devastating news of the past few weeks with the deaths of Breonna Taylor, Nina Popp and, George Floyd, we hope you will continue to stay vigilant about news as it emerges and seek to understand the critical implications of this time. There are many inequities and injustices that have taken an unprecedented toll on the lives of people locally and globally, and as many of you, we are sometimes frustrated and wrestle with the steps towards a better place.
As an ongoing and important part of our mission, Bay Path continues to pursue equity by mindfully taking into account the differences of identity and the complexities of intersectionality. We view this as a guiding force in our pursuit of inclusive excellence. Both the Offices of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs, along with a team of interested and committed members of the Bay Path community, are committed to improving equity and inclusion on our campus, and we need your help in upholding individual and collective accountability for efforts to promote inclusivity, civility, and diversity. Your participation matters!
The Bay Path Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Student Council (DI&E), as part of the larger Diversity and Inclusion Council, referenced in President Leary’s letter and under the leadership of Elizabeth Cardona and myself, seek to lead the charge regarding much of the important work to be done on our campus and in our community. We are committed to helping everyone move forward in positivity and productivity as we work together during this unimaginable time.
You may be asking yourself what you can do to elicit the change you would like to see. Below are a few ways in which you can make sure your voice is heard and you are among those identified as important members of our community.
- This year there will be an opportunity to partner with the Student Government Association as well as select members of our faculty and staff to promote civic leadership and democratic engagement on campus and in our neighborhoods by encouraging others to register and vote in our upcoming presidential election. Please be on the lookout for more information.
- This summer the DI&E Student Council will be reading the book “Blind Spot” by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald to introduce us to the notion of unconscious bias and the importance of being more self-aware as background for our work as a council this next academic year. Please respond to this email with your interest in joining this work and we will ensure you receive a copy of the book.
- If you have any suggestions on other ways our campus and community can be helpful and supportive of students please send an email to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Think about participating in the census. It is a way for every member of our community to be counted to ensure representation and the proper allocation of resources. Please see more information here.
- There are a number of resources available through the JED Foundation, an organization that focuses on supporting the mental health and well being of students and with which Bay Path partners.
- Text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK (8253) for a confidential conversation anytime.
- Check out our tips for taking care of ourselves and others during difficult times.
- Visit the JED’s Love is Louder Action Center.
- Visit our partners at Color of Change and The Steve Fund for more ways to get involved and use your time, voice, and resources to take a stand against discrimination, racism, and the senseless violence devastating communities across our country.
We are in this together, as one community, supporting each other towards a better future. As you pursue the path that is right for you, we want to encourage you to participate with us in this work. Every day, we should model and show respect, be accountable for our actions, and engage each other with compassion. We hope you find ways to exercise our constitutional rights in your own way advocating for justice and equitable treatment for all. Our mission should not just be to weather the immediate storm but to become leaders for the kind of permanent change we seek now and into the future.
Anne Chapdelaine, Dean of Students and Director of Persistence
Elizabeth Cardona, Executive Director of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Life; Assistant to the Provost for Diversity and Inclusion
A Message from President Carol A. Leary
May 31, 2020
At a time when our country is struggling with the isolation and fear brought upon us by the pandemic, we are now experiencing a new level of pain as we witness the horrific injustice that ended the life of George Floyd. We are sickened and enraged.
The names of those brutally subjected to historic oppression must echo in our hearts and minds and drive us to unite our voices in opposing hatred, racism, and violence. We must listen. We must learn. We must remember the work of our Diversity and Inclusion Council. And we must allow peace to guide our activism, or we risk perpetuating unspeakable acts of inhumanity. As Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”
I know within our own Bay Path community there is suffering. I urge you to reach out to Dean Anne Chapdelaine or to Elizabeth Cardona if you are in need of support. Our work to build inclusivity, to ensure tolerance and empathy, and to guarantee that every member feels valued and supported, has begun but we have many miles to go. The tragedies unfolding around us further fuel our conviction that there is more, so much more, that we must do.
Let us not allow hatred to tear us apart. Instead, let us ignite the power of peace to heal.