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Dear University Honors community,

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery are only the latest victims in a long history of unconscionable violence inflicted on the black community in this country. Many of the names are seared in our memories – Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Lt. Richard Collins III, Trayvon Martin, Rodney King, Michael Brown, Eric Garner – and yet there are both too many names to list and too many whose names the wider community will never know.

We share the outrage that has fueled recent protests and demonstrations across the country. On behalf of the entire UH team, we want to say how horrified and saddened we are by the senseless loss of life in the black community. We send our compassion and pledge our support to all of those in the UH family who are suffering. We voice our commitment to behaviors and actions that are not simply “not racist,” but anti-racist. And we stand with all of those who are engaged in the fight against systems of oppression and racial violence.

We routinely refer to University Honors as a “living-learning program,” but we pause too seldom to reflect on the relationship between its two aspects. The living and the learning in UH flourish in tandem. We cannot develop a love of learning in a climate of hate. We cannot explore different perspectives if not all perspectives are welcome. We cannot grapple with uncertainty in the classroom if members of our community feel unsafe. When part of our community suffers, we all suffer. And when the values of our community are threatened, we must speak out.

In addition to availing yourself of the services and support that the university makes available to all students, We encourage you to consider participating in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Week of Solidarity and Reflection. This will be followed by a Week of Action. Further information may be found at go.umd.edu/UMDSolidarity.

Best wishes,

Stephan Blatti

Christine A. Jones
Assistant Director, Academic Affairs

Dean Hebert
Assistant Director, Student Achievement

Kaleigh Mrowka
Assistant Director, Student Engagement

Camila Velloso
Coordinator, Communications