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Commitment to Action on Racial Injustice and Social Inequality

June 8, 2020

We stand in solidarity with all people seeking justice in this country and with the Black faculty, staff, students and alumni for whom this struggle is lifelong. We support the many statements decrying the entrenched racism that led to the deadly actions by the police against George Floyd on May 25, 2020. His murder is one in a lethal pattern of targeted violence against Black people, and we share in the overwhelming grief of the many lives lost. The actions of the police have exposed how our social and political institutions are failing us. The grip of racism is killing Black people and killing the American values of justice and equal treatment under the law. It is time to take action. 

We have waited until today to share our statement because we want to respond with action. We agree with those who say that we need more than conversations about race and systemic racism, oppression and the failures of our policing system. We want to challenge ourselves and others to think of ways we can change how we do our work at UC San Diego. We do not seek to identify the one thing that will achieve our goal, instead we want to support a multitude of commitments and actions, which together will move us closer to making the necessary changes. The departments, programs and centers of the Division of Social Sciences have announced actions that they will undertake to advance a society we want to live in, where the science we do is in partnership with all its stakeholders to confront racism in its institutions. 

In the Dean’s Office, our first commitment to action is as follows: With the support of our donors, which include our alumni and friends of the Social Sciences, we are pooling together an initial amount of $300,000 to support research-action projects carried out by divisional faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students in partnership with our local and regional community to make our social and political institutions accountable. These projects must address the most urgent social needs of our time. They will need to be on a short time scale, and they must in their goals confront racism and inequality. Over the next few months, we will ask for advice and gather help to launch our initiative and distribute our funding to undertake meaningful actions together with our community. We will work to center and amplify the voices and roles of Black, Indigenous, People of Color. We want this to be the start of a financial commitment that will continue into the future, to realize the dreams and ideals of a just and actively anti-racist society. 

- Carol Padden, Dean, Division of Social Sciences, UC San Diego