Division News & Statements

Message from Human Resources and Division of Inclusion and Equity leadership

June 04, 2020

Faculty and Staff, 

Our nation and community are hurting. In particular, our Black community is hurting. It’s a hurt that many of us cannot comprehend. It’s a hurt about more than Minneapolis police officers and George Floyd; it’s racialized trauma that is generations old perpetuated by systemic and institutionalized racism. While many colleagues are having feelings of exhaustion and desperation, Grand Valley must be a community that cares for one another. Today, let’s work extra hard to show that care – particularly to our Black students, faculty and staff. Care can take many forms, including:

  • Acknowledging that something is happening in our society and community and that our Black faculty, staff, and students are likely hurting.
  • Showing compassion and care by:
    - Reaching out to our Black staff and colleagues to check-in – email, text, a phone call.
    - Being gracious and flexible with employees of color who may need time and space.
    - Not expecting a response to any outreach – just reach out.
  • Educating yourself about institutional and structural racism, particularly the history of racism in our own community.
  • Thinking about the work you do for us at GVSU and how it can more directly address issues of race and inequity.
  • Seeking out the training that helps you better understand your own biases and ways to better serve colleagues and students of color. Check out gvsu.edu/inclusion/antiracism for resources and trainings.
  • Digging deeper when you see students of color at risk or colleagues of color struggling to belong, advocating harder for them, and letting them know it matters to you that they are part of GVSU.

To our Black colleagues: We see you. We hear you. Grand Valley is Grand Valley only because of you.

Sincerely,

Maureen Walsh, Associate Vice President for Human Resources
Jesse Bernal, Vice President for Inclusion and Equity & Executive Associate for Presidential Initiatives 

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