Yesterday, prosecutors rested their case in the trial of three white men charged with chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed, 25-year-old Black man, in February of 2020, after reportedly suspecting him of committing a series of break-ins in their neighborhood south of Brunswick, Georgia. On the same day, a thousand miles north of Brunswick, jurors in Kenosha, Wisconsin entered into deliberations in the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with fatally shooting two unarmed men and wounding another man at a Kenosha Black Lives Matter rally in August of 2020.
Both trials have garnered national headlines, have race-related implications, and cause stress for our communities of color, who endure everyday racism.
It is important to acknowledge that our community is still healing from the lives lost due to the racially motivated violence and hate of last year, the pandemic, and the harm of on-going inequality and racism. As such, the outcomes of these proceedings may add to and compound emotional and mental stresses experienced by members of our Triton community. We encourage you to extend empathy and compassion and to check in with community members who may be deeply affected by the current climate.
If you are experiencing anxiety related to these or other matters, UC San Diego has resources to support you. Students may contact Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at (858) 534-3755. If you are a campus employee, contact the& Faculty and Staff Assistance Program at (858) 534-5523. If you are a UC San Diego Health employee, call (866) 808-6205, company code UCSDMC or review information pertaining to the Employee Assistance Program on Health HR's website.
Regardless of the outcomes of these legal proceedings, this past year has taught us that recognizing and addressing injustice requires constant engagement. We must remain steadfast in our effort to root out systemic racism and injustice.
To this end, our community must continue to expand its knowledge and understanding of systemic racism and continue to learn how to be actively anti-racist. We must do this by pursuing individual, institutional and structural change that will dismantle inequality.
Everyone in our Triton community is part of creating and/or supporting sustainable solutions. To learn more about how you can begin or continue to actively participate, please visit UC San Diego’s Anti-Racism Resources website.
Pradeep K. Khosla
Becky R. Petitt
Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion