VP Message- Diversity Update- April 19, 2021

Dear DSA,

Today, closing arguments are being presented in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer responsible for the death of George Floyd last May. While I hope that George Floyd and his loved ones receive justice, no matter the verdict in this case, the work of racial justice must continue for our cities, our country and UNT.

Just in the past week, we have seen the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright by police during a traffic stop and the released video of the death of 13-year-old Adam Toledo also at the hands of police. The toll this seemingly never-ending barrage of horror and injustice is taking on Black students, faculty and staff is immense. I want to reiterate the resources that President Smatresk shared in his message last week. Students can reach out to UNT’s Counseling and Testing Services at 940-565-2741 or counselingandtestingservices@unt.edu. Faculty and staff can access UNT System’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which offers free counseling (including same-day sessions if in crisis) to active and retired employees, as well as members of their household. The EAP can be accessed 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week by calling 1-800-343-3822. To access benefits online, visit https://www.awpnow.com and enter AWP-UNT-384 when prompted for a code. You can learn more about our EAP at https://hr.untsystem.edu/employee-assistance-program.

In the coming days and beyond, I ask you to support one another, learn from each other and value each other. All of which will help create a world with justice, respect and dignity for everyone.

Other notes I want to share with you this month.

  • Mark your calendars to join the next DSA Diversity Council open meeting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, May 19.
  • Last summer, President Smatresk worked with leaders across the University and created an action plan to ensure our campus better incorporates initiatives aimed at advancing diversity and inclusion. I want to share with you the work DSA is doing and the progress we are making.
  • This month, the Division of Institutional Equity & Diversity began hosting focus groups as a follow-up to the Campus Inclusion Climate Survey. These sessions will be held for specific student and employee groups. Please participate if you are in one of these groups and able to do so.

Take care,

Elizabeth With Ed.D.

Vice President for Student Affairs