Dear Graduate Student Community,
I am grieving the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Sandra Bland, and too many others. I have been sickened by how brutally police across this country have responded to those protesting state-sanctioned violence against the Black community.
Many of you have reached out to me to express your deep concerns about the state of policing on our campus. I want you to know that I hear you and have been working to elevate your concerns and make clear the need for substantive change now.
What I do not want to do in this moment is simply describe, as so many have, why we need to dismantle white supremacy in all its forms; we all know that is what is needed. What I want to do is reaffirm my commitment to fighting anti-blackness in my own sphere and beyond through concrete action.
To that end, I promise to write to you again when my staff and I can promise real improvements and change for our Black graduate student community and all minoritized graduate students at Berkeley. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I commit to being your partner and advocate in this work and to being open to hearing your ideas, suggestions, and frustrations about the state of our campus, our nation, and the world.
Here is the promise I make to you: By the end of July, my staff and I will announce a set of concrete efforts we are advancing to change the status quo and move us toward becoming the anti-racist, truly inclusive institution we need to be.
We need to demonstrate to you — through our actions — that we are doing everything we can to actively fight against racism and hate in all their forms.
With humility and in solidarity,
Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division