Editor’s Note — UNL administrators issued the following message via email about a Nov. 19 “Black Lives Matter” event organized by students. Authors are Chancellor Harvey Perlman; Ronnie Green, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs; and Juan Franco, vice chancellor for student affairs.
As you no doubt know, some students have organized a “Black Lives Matter” event on Thursday just north of the Nebraska Union at 12:20 p.m. This obviously occurs in the context of national concerns about racism particularly on university campuses. We believe this event, and discussions about race relations, are significantly important for our community.
Inclusion and diversity are deeply valued at UNL. We are committed to creating and maintaining an environment where people from all backgrounds can engage, challenge and support one another. While our university is not purposefully racist, we unfortunately acknowledge that there may be some among us who define individuals by the color of their skin and not by the content of their talents or character. We also understand that the experiences of some black students and other students of color at the university, and in the community at large, are different than what other students experience. While it is hard to walk in another person’s shoes, we can listen and try to understand their perspectives and experiences.
Black lives do matter. Those lives are often lived under circumstances others don’t see. I hope you will join us on Thursday as we listen and seek to better understand each other. Then, collectively we will continue to work hard to assure our university successfully supports equal opportunities and an inclusive environment for all students.