Dear Seattle University College of Arts and Sciences Community,
The College of Arts and Sciences stands in solidarity with our LGBTQIA+ community members who are impacted by the violence inflicted on the LGBTQIA+ community in Colorado Springs this past weekend. Violence against trans people in 2021 was unprecedented, and it is important to note and respond to the heightened violence that Black trans women experience at the intersections of historically rooted anti-black racism and transphobia, continuing to advocate for the rights of our LGBTQ+ communities in solidarity with the movements for Black Lives and Indigenous sovereignty. We must work together to uplift and center the experiences of those who are at the margins.
2022 has been a deadly year for our country as gun violence fueled by racism, xenophobia, homophobia, and transphobic bigotry have claimed the lives of so many innocent people. These people have only sought to live out their birthright – to exist authentically in a world that forces people with marginalized identities to hide by virtue of their race, ethnicity, sexuality, or gender identity.
This is a moment when the Jesuit value of cura personalis, care of the whole person, resonates most strongly. We should always be seeking how we connect our community through the three concepts at the heart of cura personalis – treating people as individuals and honoring their unique worth and recognizing people’s backgrounds, including their family life, nationality, and culture.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to faculty and staff who are working to center the experiences of people at the margins, whether through your research, curriculum, pedagogy, or connection with students. The work you do to ensure our students in the College of Arts and Sciences receive a holistic and empowering social justice education is crucial to changing the trajectory of our country’s path.
The work we are doing over the next few years in the College of Arts and Sciences to implement the Strategic Plan, in concert with and support of the University’s LIFT SU initiative, is focused on changing this collective trajectory, as well as creating an inclusive environment for people with minoritized identities to thrive, whether as students, faculty, or staff. This includes changing our curriculum to uplift the experiences of marginalized communities, creating spaces to engage in transformative social justice dialogue to build solidarity among different groups, among other components being led by the Strategic Action Committee for Inclusive Academic Excellence.
We are also talking with Public Safety about training and other steps they are taking on campus. More to come on that soon.
To our College of Arts and Sciences students who have been impacted by these events:
Please reach out if you need someone to talk to. There are various resources on campus that are available to help you navigate this time as well as reaching out to faculty and staff.
Thank you to everyone who is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. We stand together as an academic community that aims to recognize and honor our shared humanity as a foundation of our values-based education.
David V. Powers, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Darozyl Touch, Assistant