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Joining Together, Supporting One Another

April 20, 2021

Dear Members of the Drexel Community,

Even as the trial of Derek Chauvin has replayed the trauma of George Floyd’s violent death, we have seen several other disturbing cases around the country that have continued to cause pain and fear for members of our own Drexel community: the killing of yet another unarmed Black man, Daunte Wright, again by another Minnesota police officer; the police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo in Chicago; as well as the ongoing hate crimes against the Asian and Asian American community and recent mass shootings in Colorado and Indiana.

We know that many of you are feeling anger, impatience and despair as we bear witness to continuing violence and injustice.  We can’t become numb to each day’s news — nor to how it affects those around us, especially people of color who continue to be the target of systemic violence and threats.

Beyond the horror felt by all of us as fellow citizens, incidents like the latest in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota and Chicago reverberate on our campus. So many of our own students, faculty, professional staff and alumni understand the fear that too-often dominates the reality of being Black and brown in our country. Those of us who don’t carry this daily burden must bring a sense of understanding, empathy and support.

These events weigh heavy on our hearts and minds as we pursue our anti-racism work here at Drexel. We hope we can continue to find ways to support one another in the caring spirit of community that sustains us as a university. Last week, 191 students, faculty and professional staff members came together for a virtual event, “Standing in Solidarity: A Frank Conversation About Anti-Asian Hate Crimes,” that provided a safe and welcoming space where panelists both acknowledged the trauma and pain experienced by the Asian and Asian American community, and inspired hope for how we can move forward together to build a more inclusive university. We plan to continue offering similar opportunities to share, listen, learn, reflect and lift each other up. Such offerings will be posted on the Office of Equality and Diversity’s Event Calendar.

In the weeks ahead, we will also take the next important steps toward making Drexel a stronger, more welcoming and inclusive university through the recommendations of our Anti-Racism Task Force, the product of so much hard work over the past year by dedicated members of our community. 

For the present, we hope this will be a moment when we find ways to truly be there for one another.  If you decide to join a march or demonstration in the days ahead and exercise your right to peacefully protest ongoing injustice and systemic racism in our society, please be mindful of your health and safety, and remember that we are still in a pandemic and in a state where COVID-19 cases have been rising.  Take care to keep yourself and your fellow community members safe.

The tragedies of recent weeks further demonstrate the need for all of us to continually, collectively commit ourselves to ending the threat of racist violence and building a country and community that lives up to its promise of racial justice and true equality for all.


John Fry

Helen Y. Bowman
Executive Vice President, Treasurer, and Chief Operating Officer

Paul E. Jensen
Executive Vice President and Nina Henderson Provost and University Professor