Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty—
In the wake of racist incidents both abroad in New Zealand as well as here at home, we take a moment to acknowledge the pain caused by these events, to reaffirm some of our core values at UNH, and to remind everyone that Psychological and Counseling Services, Health & Wellness and local faith leaders are available to assist anyone negatively impacted by these events.
The first weekend of spring break, the university hosted middle and high school students from around New England and New York at a festival celebrating African American jazz player Clark Terry, one of the most important musicians and educators in jazz history. Jazz groups from dozens of schools participated. During the event, an out-of-state high school student used Airdrop to send a blackface image to visiting students of color. We are saddened this happened on our campus; we condemn the action and acknowledge the pain this action caused.
Last week, 50 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The victims and their families are in our thoughts. Hatred, specifically Islamophobia, fueled the mosque attacks. An attack against those who exercise their right to worship is an attack on all, as freedom of religion is a core foundation to our democracy.
Sadly, our campus is not immune to the types of race-related incidents that continue to plague our country. We must not shy away from the pain of confronting these situations, as we build upon institutional efforts to incorporate the lessons and values of diversity and inclusion in everything we do to carry out UNH’s mission. We reaffirm our commitment to peace, tolerance, and respect.
James W. Dean, Jr.
Interim Associate Vice President, Community, Equity, and Diversity