University of Toledo leaders sent a message to campus Thursday recognizing Juneteenth and two impactful U.S. Supreme Court decisions aligned with the University’s core value of diversity.
The message, titled Historic Week Recognizes Value of Diversity, from President Sharon L. Gaber, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Willie McKether and Vice President for Student Affairs Phillip “Flapp” Cockrell read:
With so much rapidly happening around the world, it is important for our UToledo community to pause and recognize important days of significance and important rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court this week that speak to our core value of diversity.
Tomorrow UToledo will recognize Juneteenth with our African-American students, faculty and staff to honor the official end of slavery. We cannot go back and undo the horrible system of slavery, but we can help to ensure that current and future generations of African Americans are afforded equal rights commensurate with other ethnic and racial groups and given the unfettered opportunity for success and upward mobility in a country their ancestors helped to build through their forced and uncompensated labor.
Especially during this time when people across the country are united in protests against racism, it is important to reflect on our history but also seize this as an opportunity to move forward and do better.
Also, we applaud two historic decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court as we stand in solidarity with our LGBTQA+ and international students, faculty and staff.
Today the Supreme Court rejected an attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects the nearly 700,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and allows them to continue to live and work in the U.S.
And on Monday, the Supreme Court ruled that federal workplace discrimination laws protect the LGBTQ community, making it illegal for an employer to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As always, we will continue to monitor the potential impact of changes to laws, policies and practices on our campus community.
Please join us next week as we continue the conversations following the death of George Floyd. The second Dialogues on Diversity Virtual Townhall will be 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 25 with “The Death of George Floyd: Where Do We Go From Here?” hosted jointly by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Africana Studies program.
The free, public event can be accessed on Webex using the access code 160 482 0630. The meeting password is maP4hKYQM32. Join by phone at 415.655.0002.
Diversity is a core value of our University. We believe our diversity makes us stronger, and we work to create an environment of inclusion. It is the contributions of and collaboration with people from backgrounds different than our own that allow us to excel in education, research and economic development, and contribute to society.