June 1, 2020
Our Mission Means More than Ever
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
As the nation attempts to recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must work to understand the despair of ingrained hatred and racism that spurred nationwide protests over the weekend. Across the video footage and news coverage, the anger and despair is palpable.
Now is the time to rededicate ourselves to the historic mission of Baruch College and the Free Academy. Our institution was founded to turn the ideals of justice, access, and opportunity into a reality for generations of New Yorkers. Our road towards these noble goals has not always been straightforward, and—honestly—we have not always lived up to the fullness of our founding ideals. We have made gains, but this spring has shown that our society—and we—have more to do.
As I wrote to the community in April, and as our colleague Mitchell Cohen, PhD, professor in the Department of Political Sciences, wrote in Dissent at that time, the clear burden of illness and death from the COVID-19 pandemic has been disproportionately felt in communities of color. And now, with the senseless death of George Floyd, we see yet another manifestation of the pervasive inequality and injustice that afflicts communities of color.
Our colleague Regina A. Bernard, PhD, associate professor of Black and Latino Studies, recently published the essay “Why We Can’t Breathe,” in which she chronicles not only the death of George Floyd but the equally senseless severe injuries and deaths of other young Black and Latino men, often at the hands of law enforcement officers. Regina’s narrative is powerful, and all the more powerful because it ends with the pictures of the 10 young men of whom she writes. Regina’s piece joins the many articles and resources catalogued on our Community Connections page, which began as a way to keep Baruch connected during the pandemic and has now grown to include promoting connections across a broader array of critical issues.
In times such as these, it is critical for us to remain connected.
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Administrator in Charge (June 1, 2020-June 30, 2020)