Statements on Social Injustice, Racism, and Violence

Afghanistan Statement of Solidarity: August 18, 2021

The unfolding conflict in Afghanistan and rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis over the last week is tragic and deeply saddening. We are a world of many diverse backgrounds and the one thing that transcends differences in our nationality, ethnicity, gender, religion, and political views is our humanity. Today, on the eve of World Humanitarian Day (August 19, 2021), UCR University Extension stands with the people of Afghanistan, refugees, and all those displaced by the events of the last few days. May peace, good health, wellness, liberty, and dignity find them in the days to come.

AAPI: March 24, 2021

The shooting deaths of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16th was a disturbing tragedy, and an example of rising incidents of hate crimes against the Asian/American and Pacific Islander community. UCR University Extension strongly and unequivocally condemns anti-Asian discrimination and violence.

We strive to create an environment where students, instructors, and staff feel safe, welcome, and celebrated. Many of our students, instructors, and staff identify as members of the Asian/American and Pacific Islander community. We stand in solidarity with them, and with the families of those whose lives were taken at the hands of hatred.

As an organization responsible for the continued professional education of both domestic and international students, we acknowledge our responsibility to promote and ensure inclusivity and equity within our own community, and in the broader communities in which we are situated. We believe that positive societal change and restorative justice begin with transformative education.

BLM: June 10, 2020

Recently, we as a nation, and as individuals, have confronted the reality that we live in a societal space of injustice, inequity, and inequality, perpetuated by hierarchies of power, privilege, and oppression that permeate our social, political, and economic systems. Anger and a desire for transformative change stemming from the murders of George Floyd and many other Black individuals, have prompted a movement that has spread across our global society. This movement seeks to acknowledge how both subtle, and overtly racist, beliefs, policies, and actions are infused into the foundations of our societal institutions, and calls for a dramatic change in how Black individuals are treated in our local, national, and global communities.

As a higher education organization and steward of the public trust, at UCR University Extension we recognize the importance of acknowledging our role and responsibility in this movement. We recognize the responsibility we have to Black individuals and the Black community to examine and reflect on our own institutional policies and practices. We acknowledge our responsibility to promote and ensure inclusivity and equity within our own community and in the broader communities in which we are situated. We also recognize the role that education–and specifically professional education–plays in creating a space for positive societal change and restorative justice.

At UCR University Extension, we believe in the transformational power of education. Our central mission is to offer exceptional educational experiences and lifelong learning opportunities so that students from all ages, backgrounds, and cultures have access to knowledge and information that can enrich their lives. However, students are not free to pursue their own good if they are not safe in their own society. We embrace the UC statement on protests and violence after George Floyd’s death, and further acknowledge that at present, many Black individuals and people of color do not feel safe.

At UCR University Extension, we also acknowledge that we must examine our own professional studies curriculum and instructional practice. In doing so, we ensure that when we bring “real-world” professionals and content into the classroom, we are providing students with diverse viewpoints, content, and experiences that reflect our diverse community. We also believe that continuing education classrooms are spaces of dialogue that can lead to action and positive individual and societal change. We will work in solidarity with this movement to uncover and address areas of conscious and unconscious bias, both internally and externally. It is not enough to eliminate individual acts of racism, but we must also look for instances of structural and institutional racism within the system and work to eradicate them.

As such, we, at UCR University Extension, also commit to ensuring that Black individuals, as well as all people of color in our local and online communities, have access to continuing and professional education opportunities to aid in career exploration and career progression. In so doing, we work to combat the intolerance, discrimination, marginalization, and bigotry that can be present in higher education, corporate institutions, and cultures to create a more diverse and inclusive professional community.

Note

The University of California is committed to being consistently fair, equitable and anti-racist in its behaviors, policies, practices and structures. To learn more, please visit the UCOP Anti-Racism Task Force page.