Dear Fellow Alumni,
We write today with a message of unqualified support for American University’s Black alumni, faculty, staff, and students. As President Burwell said in her recent letter, "while the journey toward a more just society is demanding, we must each take steps that propel us all forward." As she said, "we must take responsibility to educate ourselves and others about the issues and structures that perpetuate racism so we can work to change them." We must listen, we must learn, and we must act.
We know that this spring has been a difficult one, but we also know that many among us have experienced challenges far greater than others. The murder of George Floyd has brought the deep-seated racism and injustice in our society into painfully clear focus.
We stand ready to act and to work with the administration as we all seek to play a role in addressing and ending the persistent racism that plagues our nation. First, we must acknowledge it – and recognize that it results in symptoms of racism on our campus. We must act collectively and individually until we rid our communities of this inequity.
We are committed to working with you and with the University to listen, to learn, and to act in support of our Black alumni, students, staff, and faculty. We must continue to develop proactive approaches that address and eliminate inequities. This promises to be a challenging journey, but if we are to indeed be Changemakers for a Changing World, it is a journey on which we must embark now and a commitment from which we must not waiver.
The Alumni Board is actively connecting with the Black Alumni Alliance, President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion, current students, and University administration to take the steps to make AU and the places and spaces we influence better.
Stay safe and support one another.
Rob Johnson, SPA/BS ’81, President, AU Alumni Association
Gordon-Andrew Fletcher, SPA/BA ’06, SPA/MPAP ’17, Chair, AU Black Alumni Alliance