Addressing Racial Injustice as a Community

June 05, 2020

Dear Students,

We know many of you are focused on how you can contribute your energy and talents to a more just society. This is especially so amidst historic national and international protests for racial justice and against anti-black violence, and as COVID-19 has amplified racial and other disparities within communities. We also recognize that this is a particularly painful time for many black students, faculty and staff in our own community.

Here are several ways to connect with our Columbia community for learning, action and reflection on these critical issues. Although we usually do not gather as a University community during the summer months, the issues before us cannot wait. University Life will host two important gatherings soon: a University Life Forum on racism, protest and creating change, featuring Columbia faculty, and a summer convening of Columbia's Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, which will offer you the chance to have action-oriented small-group discussions with other students, staff and faculty from across the University. You’ll receive more details early next week about these and other events, as well as information about ways to get involved in efforts across the country that address disparities and promote justice in our society.

If you’re interested in helping us plan how we will come together and work as a community on these issues during the summer and fall, please take a moment to complete this one-question survey. We want, as always, to provide many entry points for students. As we wrote last week, “we have a long way to go toward achieving true equality for all.” There is no shortage of things to do.

For right now, if you’re interested in learning more about voter mobilization strategies, consider attending these events:

  • Columbia’s Summer Ideas Exchange’s livestream of Get Out the Vote: A How-To Guide on June 9 at 7 pm with political science Professor Donald Green and Mark Mullen, founder of Turnout Nation.
  • Columbia World Projects public Zoom discussion on voter mobilization during the time of COVID-19 on June 11 at 1 pm with Nsé Ufot, executive director of the New Georgia Project, and María Teresa Kumar, President and CEO of Voto Latino.

We also want you to know about these supports from Columbia Health and CUIMC Student Health Service:

As always, please write to us at [email protected] with your questions and comments, and visit the University Life website for information and resources.


In community,

Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law

Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs, University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His