ASU Graduate College: Racism has no place anywhere

On Memorial Day 2020, George Floyd’s life ended due to a fatal encounter with police in Minneapolis. The anger surrounding Floyd’s death, and the similar deaths of Black Americans across the country, represents a failure of policing but also, our failure to acknowledge the legacy of structural racism built over centuries to devalue black lives in our communities, in our economy, and in our democracy. 

Racism has no place--anywhere. 

As the ASU charter states, we bear “fundamental responsibility for the economic, social, cultural and overall health” of the communities we live in and serve. Thus, we stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement’s call for criminal justice, economic and civil rights reform to protect black lives.

Now is the time to be open and listen.

Now is the time to treat each other with compassion and open hearts.

Now is the time to pause and reflect on the role racism plays in the daily lives of so many. 

Now is the time to focus on ideas to transform ourselves and our communities. 

To answer President Crow’s call for new ideas, initiatives and programs for societal transformation, the Graduate College will continue its work to make graduate education more accessible and inclusive. First, we pledge to elevate the voices and stories of our students, staff and faculty of color and to be their allies. Second, we are accelerating plans to evaluate our student policies through a lens of equity, diversity and inclusion and asking programs to do the same. Most importantly, we are forming a student advisory board to increase our listening capacity. 

As the engines of intellectual thought and action, it is our duty to prepare our graduate students to mobilize their research and take on the challenge of societal transformation that is equitable and just.


Elizabeth Wentz
Vice Provost and Dean
Graduate College