Statement on Justice on Trial 11/23/2021
As justice continues to be on trial across the country, we at the UNM Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) remain in solidarity with those continuously affected by systemic violence.
We are disheartened by the verdict of the Kyle Rittenhouse case, which stems from the brutal shooting of Jacob Blake by law enforcement. We grieve with the families of Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and also hope for the full recovery of the third victim, Gaige Grosskreutz. This verdict, narrowly decided on the grounds of "self-defense," ignores harms against groups historically marginalized by white supremacy and fails to address the racist fears and pervasive gun violence that led to these tragic shootings.
UNM DEI continues to monitor other incidents including the trial of those accused of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery as justice, and racial justice in particular continues to be on trial across the country.
We urge people affected by the verdict to reach out to SHAC (Student Health and Counseling for students: 505.277.3136) or CARS (Counseling and Referral Services for Staff and Faculty: 505.277.0111). If you need to report discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics, please contact Ethics Point or the Compliance Ethics and Equal Opportunity Office (CEEO).
We are reminded healing comes through solidarity, and we remain committed to dismantling systemic injustice.
Statement on Violence Against Student on 05/14/2021
The Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) has learned about another frightening and deplorable act of violence, the recent verbal and physical attack on a Jewish student at an off-campus residence.
Federal hate crimes prosecutions have been on the rise in the U. S. since the mid 2000s. And offenses have become more violent, as reported by the U. S. Department of Justice. As noted by Vanita Gupta, U.S. Associate Attorney General and former president & CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, this remains “a crucial time, when too many people in this country feel unwelcome, unsafe, and marginalized." We are still in the wake of “divisive rhetoric … and policies targeting or casting wide aspersions on … marginalized communities." We therefore urge unity to confront legitimization or normalization of hate.
DEI reminds individuals that in a diverse academic setting, the opportunity for constructive dialogue around tenuous issues is encouraged. Acts of hate speech, violence, and other acts that threaten a flourishing and inclusive campus climate will not be tolerated. We remind everyone that any incidents of hate or bias against any member of our community, defy our values as a university and violate our respectful campus policy (http://policy.unm.edu/university-policies/2000/2240.html). Additionally, any crimes committed against individuals because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender/gender identity, or disability are subject to federal and state hate crime laws which increase the penalty for the offense.
We urge anyone who has received offensive communications and has either witnessed or experienced a hate or bias incident via e-mail or in person, to reach out to the UNM Police Department (UNMPD) and UNM Office of Compliance, Ethics and Equal Opportunity (CEEO) and fill out a hate/bias incident report at http://compliance.unm.edu/compliance-hotline/. Reports can be made anonymously and are investigated fully.
We look forward to continuing to build bridges of communication, understanding and solidarity and finding common ground for advancing human rights to ensure that our university remains accessible and welcoming to all.
Dear UNM AAPI Community,
We, the UNM Division for Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and undersigned members of the UNM community, grieve with you over the Atlanta-area murders of March 16, 2021, which targeted Asian-American women and continued a pattern of hate crimes against the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) community. While the initial tweets and statements issued by the university have condemned these horrific acts, we appreciate that members of our community felt that these racist and misogynistic attacks were not adequately or swiftly acknowledged. For our part in this, we apologize. Please know that you are valued members of our community. DEI and the undersigned are committed to learning from this and promoting a university culture that sees and addresses your needs, through words and meaningful actions. We know that historic and contemporary discrimination and violence is deeply rooted in anti-Asian gendered racism. Please know that we stand in solidarity with AAPI students, colleagues and community and that we commit to working to eliminating this violence. We must speak out and teach about the history and contemporary forms of violence. We send out a clarion call for justice and liberation that eliminate all forms of racism, gendered violence and other intersectional oppressions.
As we write this letter our nation is grieving more loss – this time in Colorado. We know that those who abide hate would want us to feel relief: “At least this time, it’s not me. It’s not my family that is being killed.” We refuse to have our community divided by fear. Those who would harm us need to know that we stand together. We denounce the violence that pervades our country. We stand with our neighbors in Colorado, with the AAPI community, and with so many other groups who have survived violence. We persist and we will prevail--as one community, indivisible, committed to safe spaces and liberation for all.
Know justice; know peace.
University of New Mexico Division for Equity and Inclusion
Note: We thank HSC School of Medicine Certified Nurse Midwife Thanh-Tam Ho, HSC School of Medicine Resident, Dr. Jocelyn Wu, and their colleagues for helping us to craft our statement.
UNM President Garnett Stokes, UNM Stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community
DEI supports NADOHE Statement on Solidarity with Asian, Asian American,
OFCCP Guidance Re: No Enforcement Action on EO 13950 and DEI Training
A message from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education:
On Monday, January 11, 2021, the US Department of Labor, OFCCP issued guidance that it will stop investigating any agency or contractor suspected of violating executive order 13950 (the EO regarding federal contractors DEI education programs) and will take no enforcement action. This determination was made after U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman granted a preliminary injunction filed by LGBT rights groups in the Northern District of California based on the likelihood of them prevailing on their First Amendment claims. DOL suspended enforcement of the EO restricting diversity training by government agencies and contractors after the District Court issued the injunction. A hotline set up to collect complaints will no longer be used.
The OFCCP guidance and the federal court decision can be found here:
NADOHE will continue to monitor any further action taken by OFCCP.
Paulette Granberry Russell, JD
DEI supports NADOHE Statement on Violence Within the Nation's Capitol
NADOHE Statement on Violence Within the Nation’s Capitol
CONTACT: Debra S. Nolan, CAE
Phone: 800-793-7025, Email: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2021 - The new year was greatly anticipated as a time of new beginnings. Instead, on January 6, 2021, we witnessed violence on the grounds and within the building of our nation’s capitol, incited by President Trump, who encouraged his supporters to demonstrate their disagreement with the legitimate November election outcome. What should have been a peaceful transfer of power that is the hallmark of U.S. democracy turned into a day of destruction and death. Although many are shocked and outraged by what took place, the disruption was unsurprising after four years of an administration that has promoted hate, and peddled lies, conspiracy theories and disdain for the norms of civil behavior that should exist even when we fundamentally disagree with one another.
As leaders in Higher Education focused on diversity, equity and inclusion, we cannot ignore the role that race baiting has played in these events, with white supremacists emboldened and encouraged by President Trump. Nor can we fail to defend the essential role of facts and truth-seeking as the basis of an equitable, respectful culture.
NADOHE deplores these disgraceful events and calls on its members and leaders in all sectors of society to remain vigilant in our support to democracy. We remain committed to the wellbeing of our campus communities.
As the pre-eminent voice for chief diversity officers in higher education and with more than 1,100 members representing 750 colleges and universities, NADOHE's mission is to lead higher education towards inclusive excellence through institutional transformation. For more information about NADOHE, visit www.nadohe.org.
Additional Statements regarding the
Response from the Division for Equity and Inclusion to
Executive Order on "Combating Race & Sex Stereotyping" - 9/24/2020
(SEPTEMBER 24, 2020) - Last evening, President Trump issued an executive order which broadens his previous action targeted at eliminating workplace diversity training programs within federal agencies the president considers “offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating.” The executive order outlines a process by which restrictions will now apply to federal contractors. Additionally, Section 5 of the executive order instructs federal agencies to “review their respective grant programs and identify programs for which the agency may” apply conditions to receiving a grant. Agencies are to submit a report to OMB within 60 days.
Sec. 5. Requirements for Federal Grants. The heads of all agencies shall review their respective grant programs and identify programs for which the agency may, as a condition of receiving such a grant, require the recipient to certify that it will not use Federal funds to promote the concepts that (a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (d) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (e) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex; (g) any individual should feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress on account of his or her race or sex; or (h) meritocracy or traits such as a hard work ethic are racist or sexist, or were created by a particular race to oppress another race. Within 60 days of the date of this order, the heads of agencies shall each submit a report to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that lists all grant programs so identified.
Clearly, the writers of this executive order do not understand the nature of systemic racism, sexism, oppression, nor do they accept the extent to which such systems of power are embedded in our modern institutions.
Given that these issues are systemic and that wealth gaps in the US result from low wages, inequitable access to health care, and systematic withdrawal of resources from Black, Brown, and poor communities, etc, anti-racist (and related) education is not focused on characterizing all individuals of European descent (for example) as ”inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive.”
The education explains that a system built on racial hierarchy (beginning with slavery and settler colonialism—we all recognize our history in the U.S. and initial wealth gaps started with occupying Native land, enslaving Africans, and indenturing poor Europeans—some of whom were not even initially considered “white”, etc) has resulted in persistence of an educational system, health care systems, religious organizations, law enforcement, etc (or “institutions” as we refer to them in sociology) that preserve the notion of racial hierarchy resulting in devaluing Black, Indigenous, and Brown lives at every turn.
Social scientists, medical scientists, and scholars in humanities, etc have decades-long records of research publications (largely utilizing research tools developed by the same racial hierarchy, including but not limited to methods developed by eugenicists, gynecological research conducted against Jewish women in concentration campus and both enslaved and free Black women, medical research that provided placebos to Black men resulting in untreated syphilis and death, qualitative research practices developed on basis of research that took advantage of gay men) providing evidence that racial inequalities have caused and maintained recurring political and material advantages for white people in the US, especially those of the middle and upper classes.
Furthermore, Institutions of Higher Education in the United States enjoy the protections of academic freedom, as guaranteed by the AAUP and university policies, that protect their research and teaching missions from federal interference, including this most recent gratuitous use of power by the Trump administration. The Executive Order on “Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” dismisses decades of social science evidence and denies the persistence of systemic racism, heteropatriarchy, settler colonialism and other intersectional violence in US society. Below are links to all the scholarly associations statements on race and intersectionality (see APA statement that specifically names intersectionality).
American Anthropological Association. 1998. “Statement on Race.” Washington, DC. Last accessed on 08/15/10 at http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm.
American Association of Physical Anthropologists. 1996. AAPA Statement on Biological Aspects of Race, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, (101):569-570. Last accessed on 08/15/10 at http://physanth.org/association/position-statements/biological-aspects-of-race.
American Psychological Association. 2002. Guidelines on Multicultural Education, Training, Research, Practice, and Organizational Change for Psychologists- Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Last accessed on 8/15/10 at http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/policy/multicultural-guidelines.aspx.
American Sociological Association, 2020. Sociology Speaks: Experts Explain the Executive Order of Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping. https://www.asanet.org/news-events/asa-news/sociology-speaks-experts-explain-executive-order-combating-race-and-sex-stereotyping
American Sociological Association. 2003. The Importance of Collecting Data and Doing Social Scientific Research on Race. Washington, DC: American Sociological Association. Last accessed on 8/15/10 at http://www2.asanet.org/media/asa_race_statement.pdf.
Statements regarding the
Executive Order on "Combating Race & Sex Sterotyping"
|American Historical Association|
|AERA - |
American Educational Research Association
|Statement in Support of Anti-Racist Education|
National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education
|NADOHE Statement of DEI Training|
Statement from the Division for Equity and Inclusion regarding George Floyd and Police Brutality
(MAY 30, 2020) - DEI finds the actions of the officers who killed Mr. George Floyd unconscionable and we denounce police brutality against communities of color. Further we are aware of and condemn white nationalist groups that are taking cover behind legitimate national protests concerning George Floyd & police brutality, to incite violence against black businesses and civil society.
We call on chiefs of police nationally to condemn the actions of the officers who killed Mr. George Floyd and to renounce practices of police brutality against Black communities and other marginalized folk. As well, we call on police departments at universities and in communities to require diversity education and to require a demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion as essential criteria for hiring and promotion.
Below we provide the transcript of an interview with Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina who has called on statements of condemnation against the actions of those responsible for killing Mr. George Floyd, as Chief Colina said, “not [just] from community leaders, not [just] from mayors or governors, no, from law enforcement …leadership,… so officers can hear that message and understand…”.
Interview by Joy Reid, AM Joy 30 May 2020 MSNBC, 9am MT
Joy Reid from MSNBC says, “it is not surprising that the demonstrations have been extremely angry. … How do police police people who are angry because of that cruelty?” She asks how can police departments expect the Black community to comply with curfews and to work with them to quell violence incited by white nationalists who are using peaceful Black protestors as cover.
Response from Miami Chief of Police Jorge Colina: It is not impossible, we have to keep working at it. The first thing that happens is that there needs to be is an united voice from law enforcement, not [just] from community leaders not [just] the mayors or governors. No, from Law enforcement coming out and saying this is horrific. Open your eyes and look at what happened here. There is no excusing it. There is no, “well what happened beforehand. What’s his criminal history. What prompted this action” Nothing justifies that. And that needs to be said. And it needs to be said outloud. So the officers from the leadership on down the officers can hear that message and understand it is your job to say, “don’t do that! It is unacceptable. Please stop it.” And when the community sees that this voice is being heard and you’re being proactive on the law enforcement side, then we can start that process of starting to regain some trust. but if we don’t do that, and historically we are terrible at communicating. If we don’t do that, this is going to continue. It’s got to start from police leadership and push down to every officer on the street. You can’t be afraid to speak up.”
Assata Zerai, Ph.D.
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
University of New Mexico
Links to Press and Campus and Community Statements
Statement from UNM
Statement from UNM African American Student Services
Statement from UNM Chicana/Chicano Studies
Statement from UNM Office of Equal Opportunity
UNM Staff Support Statement
Mayor Keller and City Officials Denounce Racism and Address Incident at an Albuquerque Protest
Article: Mural of George Floyd
Statement from VP for Equity and Inclusion Dr. Assata Zerai regarding threats against Dr. Charles Becknell, Jr., Director of Africana Studies
(MAY 4, 2020) - At UNM, as Lobos each of us defines all of us. So when statements of hate and threats of physical harm are made against one in our pack, we stand resolute to communicate our inclusive values and that we will not tolerate such assaults against one of our own.
As VPEI, I was greatly distressed to learn that Dr. Charles Becknell, Jr, Director of Africana Studies was recently sent threats against his person. There is a long history of threats and intimidation against people of color, and specifically African Americans in the United States. At UNM, we declare that anti-blackness will not gain a foothold.
We urge anyone who has received any offensive communications via e-mail or in person to reach out to the UNM PD and OEO and fill out a hate bias incident report at https://police.unm.edu/default.aspx?MenuItemID=249&MenuGroup=Public+Home.
Reports can be made anonymously and are investigated fully.
UNM has confidential reporting sites for students, staff, and faculty who may not be sure if they wish to proceed with an OEO report or if their concern warrants an OEO report. Confidential advocates can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
During this unprecedented time, many are facing challenges due to incidents of micro aggressions and racial bias and we urge individuals report to the agencies noted above and to visit the newly developed http://mentalhealth.unm.edu to access resources and support.
For those in the community who wish to understand more about the heightened climate concerns during COVID-19, we encourage you to tune into our DEI webinar series. DEI has also worked with constituency groups to develop a list of guidelines for establishing policy during COVID-19. These are displayed on the University COVID-19 website.
In the meantime, we want the UNM community to know that we greatly value Dr. Becknell and that we stand with him, and the Africana Studies community.
Assata Zerai, Ph.D.
Vice President for Equity and Inclusion
University of New Mexico
Links to Press and Campus and Community Statements in Support of Africana Studies
Provost's Academic Dispatch
UNM Black Faculty Alliance Statement on the Criminal Act of antiBlack Racist Terrorism against Dr. Charles Becknell, Jr., and the Program of Africana Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Chicana/Chicano Studies and supporters
UNM College of the University Libraries and Learning Sciences on the Criminal act of anti-Black Racis Terrorism against
UNM School of Law Faculty Letter of Support
UNM Staff Council
College of Education
College of Population Health
First Congregational United Church of Christ
Black Lawyers Association
FBI asked to investigate racist threats against UNM program director, ABQ Journal