UofL President Neeli Bendapudi was joined by other Louisville-area college and university presidents this week to affirm their commitment to finding solutions to end racial inequality.
In addition to Bendapudi, other signatories include Susan Donovan, Bellarmine University; Travis Haire, Ivy Tech, Sellersburg; Ty Handy, Jefferson Community and Technical College; Jay Marr, Sullivan University, Louisville; Tori Murden McClure, Spalding University; Alton B. Pollard, III, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; and Ray Wallace, IU Southeast.
In a joint statement, the presidents announced five ways they plan to address racism in Louisville. The letter, including those proposed actions, is below:
“James Baldwin said, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ The harsh truth that must be faced is that Black Americans still face obstacles that leave them, in far too many cases, lagging behind their White counterparts on important indicators of education, income, health, and wealth. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd are just the latest names on our collective dishonor roll of Black lives that were taken casually and, all too often, without consequence. The very real racial inequities of today are the result of a legacy of systemic racism.
“We, as leaders of higher education institutions in greater Louisville and Kentuckiana, are aware both of the promise of higher education as a transformative force in society, and of the problematic history of these very institutions in perpetuating racial inequity.
“As leaders of these institutions, we, too, are complicit in maintaining the status quo and it is therefore incumbent upon us to take real and meaningful action to achieve the ideals of equity that our institutions espouse.
“We believe that by working together we can do more and do better as agents of positive change.
Photo provided by Brendan J. Sullivan, Bellarmine University.
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