Message from President Wong: Reflecting on Charlottesville and our community values

Dear SF State faculty and staff,

I watched in anger this weekend as white supremacists came to the University of Virginia to incite fear and violence. Our hearts go out to the Charlottesville community, the individuals and families who suffered injury and specifically to the family of Heather Hyer.

The events there are not so far removed from what many in our community face every day. Our current political climate has openly and unapologetically unleashed dangerous social forces which do not and should not represent America in 2017.

Now more than ever we need systematic responses to uphold our shared values of equity, diversity and inclusion. There is no other way forward for our country if “progress” means anything to this University. To that end, a new Division of Equity & Community Inclusion will open at the start of the fall semester. The new unit will be responsible for leading, coordinating, implementing and evaluating a broad range of sustained programs, initiatives, events and activities designed to facilitate intercultural/intergroup dialogue, promote equity and inclusion, advance social justice, and improve campus climate for all of our students, faculty, staff and guests.

We must condemn hatred in all forms. We will stand together against all expressions of terrorism and bigotry. We will learn together to uphold and promote our university values of equity, inclusion, community, and most of all, resilience in these trying times.

Les Wong