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Statement and Resources on Racial Justice

June 1, 2020

Tisch College community,

This past week was marked by outrage, grief and violence in communities across the country following the senseless killing of George Floyd and other Black men and women. I know many of you are in pain. There have been too many painful weeks, months, and years in our national history. 

As the Dean of Tisch College, I stand with Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I join in the calls for justice and for an end to the violence that is perpetrated against people of color in this country.

Though raising our collective voices for justice is essential, it is not enough. We must take action. Our civic responsibility demands this of us, especially in times of trauma and struggle. 

If you are thinking about how to get involved, learn more, and take action, my colleagues at Tisch College have put together a page of resources, which can be found here, and we will be adding to it in the coming days and weeks.     

The perennial crisis of racial injustice is compounded in this moment by the ongoing pandemic, which itself affects communities in ways that reflect racial inequality. We are currently funding student projects via the Tisch Student COVID Response (TSCR) Summer Program, which allows students to create their own initiative or work with an existing project to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students may address needs in their hometown community or address a broader need, whether domestic or global. We have received an overwhelming response to the announcement of these grants, which are being funded on a rolling basis. Today I am announcing that we will add funding to specifically support projects that address racial disparities. Students can learn more and apply here.

As we all consider what actions we can take, one of our most fundamental civic responsibilities is to register and to vote—and to encourage others to do so. Every member of the Tufts community can use our tool at https://tufts.turbovote.org/ to register to vote and to sign up to receive text and email alerts about upcoming elections. As President Obama wrote this weekend, “. . . if we want to bring about real change, then the choice isn’t between protest and politics. We have to do both.”

Finally, I want you to know that I take these matters seriously and personally. I recognize that mine is a voice of privilege. I know that I can never understand the depth of pain that too many feel or the trauma that too many have experienced. As such, it is my responsibility, and my opportunity, not only to listen, but to seek out voices in the Black community at Tufts and beyond. As always, if you have ideas for an event or an initiative, I invite you to reach out to me directly or to write to Tisch College.

Hoping you remain safe, healthy, and committed to civic life in these troubled times,

Alan Solomont
Dean, Tisch College of Civic Life

COVID-19 and Inequality

Our COVID-19 Response Summer Program, which provides funding to student initiatives, is especially encouraging funding requests for projects that address racial disparities.

Resources for Learning and Action

We've compiled several resources for learning, teaching, and taking action on racial issues.