June 1, 2020
Dear MICA Community Members,
In Baltimore, it is impossible to feel the pain of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor’s in Louisville without recalling that for Freddie Gray. Yet more Black lives lost as a result of systemic racism obviously reverberate far beyond our city as rage over a despairing pattern of racial injustice fuels protests across our nation and around the world.
In honor of George Floyd, Freddie Gray, Breonna Taylor, and too many others who have shared their fate, I ask the MICA community to unite despite our physical distancing and join me in acknowledging the following:
- We mourn the loss of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor as individuals whose lives are as valuable as ours and any other’s, and we wish for the best for their families and loved ones.
- We remember Freddie Gray and all others who suffered racial inequities during their lifetimes and ultimately lost their valuable lives senselessly in the dark shadow of racism.
- We stand in solidarity for Black Lives Matter and against discrimination.
- We each have power—sometimes power over others, often power to make a difference for others, and always power to change ourselves—and we will use that power mindfully and responsibly for the good of one another.
- We act with all our might as individuals and as a college community to be a part of the change that must happen to break structural racism and make social justice real.
For far too long, prejudice and racial inequality have remained deeply entrenched in our institutions, both public and private, and in our culture as a whole. MICA, with a discriminatory history of its own, is certainly not exempt from this reality and is still learning from it.
In a time of potential despondence, let’s remind ourselves that—as a creative community—we at MICA have a special role to play in manifesting complex ideas in life and empowering difficult conversations in communities to enable positive shifts in perspectives and dynamics in society. This is the work that we can do and that we continue to do because artists and designers are cultural workers who have the power to bring change and shape society.
Our Mission, Vision, and Tenets clearly state that MICA champions equity and is committed to a just world. As such, let MICA the institution and let us the campus community stand and act together for social justice—not only today, but every day.
I would like to acknowledge that, as many of us have been and continue to be deeply affected, our selfcare and emotional well-being are top priorities. Please seek the support necessary for assistance, comfort, and healing. Tele-appointments for students are available at the Student Counseling Center (410-225-2367 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Support for students is also available through the Center for Identity & Inclusion (email@example.com) and the Office of Student Affairs (firstname.lastname@example.org). Faculty and staff members are encouraged to seek assistance from Human Resources or through the Employee Assistance Program. A campus communication that focuses on such resources, as well as mutual support actions will follow in the very near future.
To close, I encourage everyone to check in with and support our Black friends and peers, who are experiencing an especially stressful time right now.
To our Black students, faculty, staff, families, and friends, please know that we see you, empathize with your pain, and share your anger. Your MICA community stands in solidarity with you.