To the SFS community,
As communities across the nation grieve for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor and demand recognition of the racism and injustice that are still so deeply rooted in our society, we at SFS stand in solidarity with the black community and all of those calling for change. As a school, we were created to foster empathy through understanding in order to overcome the bitter divisions that lead to violence. Though our focus is global, these killings show how much we still have to do in our home country to fight against racism and injustice.
President DeGioia has asked all of us to reflect on what we can do to be a part of a broader reimagining of social, political, economic and moral structures to ensure justice for all. I want to commit SFS to this important task. As we prepare women and men for service to the world, it is our obligation to continuously question how our school can do better to meet the challenges that have sparked such outrage. We can and must do more to understand the forces that perpetuate injustice. We can and must do more to promote actions that will alleviate injustice.
In a normal year, we would come together on campus to lift our voices and show our solidarity. Though we are separated now, I know that this does not diminish our need as a community to respond to this injustice. I invite our students, staff, and faculty to engage in dialogue and action to help SFS build the culture that will contribute to change. Please do not hesitate to reach out directly to me to help us think through how best to move forward. And when we finally reconvene together on campus, we can work together to ensure that our Georgetown community lives up to our highest ideals.
Until then, I hope that wherever you are, you are raising your voice in a peaceful call to action and working in whatever ways you can to promote equality and justice.
Joel S. Hellman
Dean of the School of Foreign Service