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Black Lives Matter sign carried by students

Message from the Academic Leadership Team on Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter

Dear Members of the Bentley Community,

As we begin a new week, we write in solidarity as the academic leadership team to affirm the dignity and humanity of our Black students, faculty, and staff. Some of you may have joined the Town Hall on Racial Injustice that we hosted on Friday with faculty and staff; others may have participated in the webinar that student leaders in Black United Body (BUB) coordinated. At both events, it was evident that we can and need to do more as a community to address issues of systemic racism. It was also a clear reminder that our language is important, and we are unequivocal in demonstrating to our Bentley community that Black Lives Matter.

We acknowledge our Black and Brown colleagues who shared their stories of discrimination, exhaustion and pain during Friday’s Town Hall meeting. Those faculty and staff who spoke displayed courage and honesty as they offered insights into their lived experiences; they placed a spotlight on some of the tenets of privilege for those of us who are not members of underrepresented racial communities. Those tenets of privilege include, but are not limited to: not worrying that we will be a spokesperson for our race when we speak, not fearing for our wellbeing when we are pulled over or confronted by a police officer, not feeling like it is incumbent upon us to call out micro- and macroaggressions, not engaging in conversations about diversity and inclusion to preserve our own comfort, and not having to suppress our rage and hopelessness when we witness the systems that are designed to protect us continue to fail us.

Let us be clear: the burden does not remain on our Black students and colleagues to tell our community that change is required. The stories we heard on Friday remind us that the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are outcomes of a broader, deeper system of racism, and that countless other Black lives have been impacted and ended by that system. That same system upholds the inequities that our faculty and staff of color experience on a daily basis on Bentley’s campus and in communities across the country. We have an opportunity to closely examine our own systems at Bentley, and we have the obligation to use this moment to create substantive changes to our practices. Of course, the changes will take time and effort; however, we know that if people create systems, people can also dismantle and reimagine systems.

As a leadership team, we strive to make clear to Black students, faculty, and staff that their lives, their bodies, their trauma and their experiences matter. We plan to do this, in part, by committing to the following:

1. To educate ourselves on topics of race and racism in the United States, not by relying on Black colleagues or students to teach us, but through ongoing learning and exploration of existing materials. There is an abundance of available resources, and we can start by reviewing this reading list or this collection of websites and databases.

2. To recognize that each of us carries bias that upholds racism, and to engage in the self-reflection and practice necessary to tease out and shift those biases.

3. To speak up and disrupt moments when we witness racist jokes or behaviors, regardless of whether there are Black people around us.

4. To create learning environments that welcome Black students. For those spaces that have historically ostracized Black students, we will make a concerted effort to reach out and repair those relationships.

5. To cultivate offices and departments in which Black faculty and staff understand their value and no longer question if their voices are taken seriously.

We ask that you join us in this commitment. If you feel that you can help us further these goals, please add your name to the list of those who have signed below.

Join Us in this Commitment

Later this week, the Office of the Provost will send an email inviting members of the community to be part of a Task Force on Racial Justice. That group will offer recommendations for specific, tactical actions that we can take as a university to address the issue of systemic racism and its byproducts on our campus. We have work to do, and we know that one task force will not resolve every issue that stems from centuries of injustice. Our efforts must be ongoing and interwoven with our institutional values and mission. We believe firmly in making Bentley a leader for promoting equity and inclusion, and we thank you for your help in moving us toward that reality.

 

Cordially,

Donna Maria Blancero, Provost and VP for Academic Affairs

Katie Lampley, Assistant Provost for Diversity and Inclusion

Andy Aylesworth

Mystica Alexander

Cathy Carlson

Alina Chircu

Jane De León Griffin

Otgo Erhemjamts

Aaron Jackson

Jeff Moriarty

Rick Oches

Bill Read

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President Alison Davis-Blake
Sol Nasisi
Mike Kivi
Molly Mastantuono
Maria Monks Serrao
Tatiana Naclerio
Heikki Topi
Rebecca Burstein
Mimi Doan
Monire Jalili
Clare Gallogly
Courtney Copelas
Nusrat Rahman
Kaitlynn Giombetti
Brian Shea
Alex Hirs
Courtney Finn
Steve Salina
Wiley Davi
Rebecca McDougal
P. Thompson Davis
Ann Marie Regan
Jane Fedorowicz
Joel Deichmann
Riley Demanche
Erin Kelley
Joey Pacis
Mike Bravo
Brittney Jackson
Jeffrey Livingston
Christine McAuliffe
Hope Houston
Alison Guzman
Janelle Gee
Matt Paradise
Suzanne Dove
Angela Garcia
Ryan Bouldin
Evann Welty
Iris Berdrow
Zana Cranmer
Liz Humphries
Evan Patev
David Ford
Tom Savageau
Danielle Hartigan
Gesa Kirsch
Roland Hübscher
Alessia Dalsant
Alain Chinca
Young Ju Rhee
Michael Tesler
Laure Astourian
Peter Forkner
Samantha Ward
Kristen Gallant
William Kavanaugh
Dan Sheehan
Stephanie Medden
Jay Matrona
Christine Regan
Kartik Raman
John Piga
Brandon Smit
Mary Wright
Linda Edelman
Ernesto Schirmacher
Kim Wesolowski
Jeffrey Proudfoot
Mateo Cruz
Margaret Fitzgerald
Trish Foster
Cara Bauer
Susan Capolino-Cocuzzo
Ben Aslinger
Natalie Schlegel
Anna Siomopoulos
Christian Rubio
Jennifer Flagel
Bridie Andrews
Ashley Rodriguez
Laurel Steinfield
Courtland Pavek
Michael Kivi
Matthew Jackson
Daniel Marini
Betsy Stoner
Nivia Mogan
Roy Mogan
Carolina Figueroa
Anne Rawls
Michael O’Brien
Marco Marabelli
Susan O’Connell
Rona Mejiritski
Charles Malgwi
Ian Cross
Monica Manna
Rob A. DeLeo
Curt Smith
Mary Marcel
Anusha Patel
Bill Wiggins
Ari Yezegel
Leslie Doolittle
Michael O'Halloran
Tony Buono
Jessica Roche
Kevin Loftus
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Jessica Kenerson
Ann Harte
Larry Dolinsky
Maria Bergmann
Janis Gogan
Meghan Ward
Laurie Moynihan
Luke Mueller
Alyssa Hammond
Tom Kane
Diana DeSimone
Jonathan White
Anne Baker
Emily Williams
Antonio Willis-Berry 
Bridget McShane
Steph Bohler
Erik Gupp
Kartik Raman
Kristen Nill
Kristin Sorensen
Janet Ehl
Thomas Savageau
Kathy Posey
Laura Bentley
Betsy Whipple
Courtney Hough
Erin Flynn
Jemma Boyle
Trish (Patricia) Rice
Dorothy Polatin
J. Andrew Shepardson
Christine Lyalko
Greg Hall 
Deb Pine
Lindsay Rauch
Shanell Cartagena
Ekaterina Cleary
Bill Gribbons
Bobby Olejarczyk
Audra Boni
Lauren Schuller
Kiana Pierre-Louis
Elizabeth Rosenzweig
Melissa Diglio
Sara Rathbun
Kat Keyes 
Erica Brown
Jiaying Weng
Jessica Sumney
Nia DeYounge
Debbie Forman
Matthew J Jackson
Kerisse Seepersad
Nathan Carter
Jillian Cone
Kris Otto
Tamara Shapiro Ledley
Melissa Jenkins
Anya Gelernt-Dunkle
Heather Wright Karlson
Aaron Ancell
John McElhenny
Donna Lane
Bethany Lawlor
Valerie Como
Stephanie Huber
Zoe Wagner
Jim Pouliopoulos
A.J. Darcey
Maureen Flores
Greg Farber
Francheska Polanco
Meghan Charbonneau
Christopher Joyce
Amanda King
Ian Thomas Wall
George F Cangiano
Judith Malone
Mark Ma
Cassie Balzarini
Sue Walsh
Rabbi Jeff Foust
Juliet Gainsborough
Danielle Solar
Kristine Cirino-Calvo
Lucy Amello
Josh Brand
Vanessa Salas
Michael Quinn
Kevin Wong
Johannes Eijmberts
Joy Gray
Donna Morrison Kendall
Elizabeth LeDoux
Courtney Woronka
Tamara Babaian
Bo Stewart
Gregory Vaughan
Kerry Hughes
Winston  Buckley
Frank Bourgeois
Brinda Sood
David Wade
Abigail Sullivan
Pam Carpenter
Nada Nasr
Jamie Bang
Xiaofan Gao
Benjamin Longstreth
Alison Walker
Jon Lheureux
Laura Young
Daniel Simons
Brian Morrissey
Deb Burbank
Christine Lookner
Paul Stanish
Jill Brown
Bobbi-Lynn Kekic
Jake Mulvey
Bria Milbery
Andrew Coole
Trevor Larkan
Kate DaPra
Maureen Forrester
Risa Whitehead
Lynn Wolf
Simon Moore
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Erin McCool
Olivia Deschenes
Emily Crowell
Samantha Simione
Karen Osterheld
Jon Nattinville
Jared Berman
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Dyna Ly
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Elaine Walker
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Helen Henrichs
Kristen Jadul
Tim Tierney
Kirsten Walley
Caitlin Elinson
Lisa Maillet
Pauline Carpenter 
Elona Dai
King-Fa Mei
Melissa Looney
Lisa Curtin
Alvin Reynolds
David Olson
Bobby Lynn
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Mike Wade
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Nora Basile
Thomas Fisher
Jordan Bragg
Jen Vernaglia
Anne O'Brien
Trent Rex
Nicole Chabot-Wieferich
Nancy Maillet
Jeff Gulati
Katie Shields
Bi Lan Zeng
Rashmi Rajesh
PJ Dickson
Marianne Kulow
Amy Dufour
Liz Brown
Glisery Colon
Tracy Noga
Merle Bazile
M. Lynne Markus
Anne Herzog
Diane Whelan
Heather Wright Karlson
Pete Ciccarelli
Dave Szymanski
Joan Atlas
Barbara Nash
George Raftopoulos
Leeann Simons
Kirkley Silverman
Aimee Sands
Esen Dukanci
Kelly Milligan
Robin Olson
Shayna Pedersen
Jeanne DiBona
Karen Harn
Rabbi Jeff Foust
Dee McKenna
Sandy Smith
Ted Brown
Kristen Richards
Roy (Chip) Wiggins
Cindy Cue
Miriam Acajabon
Mark Semanie
Susan E Richman
Yuki Cheng
Mark Tomlinson
Lisa Taddeo
Brittany Mullaney
David Iodice
Miriam Boeri
Sue Gorman
Rachel Ford
Hugh Wilburn
Fred Ledley
Valerie Veno
Lauren Makhlin

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