A message to the Miami Community from the Vice President of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion

June 1, 2020

Dear Miami Community,

As the Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, I write to you today on behalf of Miami University, regarding the recent acts of continuing racism and injustice against African Americans across our nation.

Our Miami leadership team issued a united statement over the weekend condemning the brutal deaths and degrading of African Americans in recent weeks and affirming our solidarity with all who strive to end racism, bigotry, and injustice. 

We unequivocally condemn these brutal acts and all incidents of bigotry, racism, and injustice.  These are contrary to our mission of human equality and to serve “people of all races, from all nations,” in a welcoming, respectful, community of diversity and inclusion.  I am writing to underscore Miami’s commitment to this goal, and to express my personal outrage and grief at these recent hateful acts – it is well past the time that this must stop. 

I know that our understanding and empathy cannot be in proportion to the experiences of those who have personally suffered generations of prejudice, exclusion, second-class citizenship and violence that people of color have suffered in the United States.  I call upon the Miami community to have hard conversations about this injustice and to face the challenge of creating real, positive, lasting change in our nation. I will be working with the Miami community and leadership team to coordinate our efforts.

I also call upon the Miami community to remember its values and the code and to act accordingly.  As Miamians, we must always respect, and I would add affirm, the dignity, rights, and property of others. I urge you to be an active citizen and register to vote in local and national elections and to stand up and be counted as part of the Census. I urge you to exercise your right and to protect the rights of others to peacefully be heard, and in this climate of COVID-19, to do so safely and responsibly. Take advantage of every educational and experiential opportunity you can and act from knowledge and not from rumor and emotion. Remember that as King once said, “we’ve got some difficult days ahead,” and a choice to make, stand by and watch or criticize, or stand up and join forces with those who are working for positive change for everyone across all the divides in our nation. 

I also know the experience of the Covid-19 pandemic has made vivid the fact that our nation is no stronger than the most vulnerable among us. Our flourishing depends on our solidarity, collaboration, and commitment to the common good. That vision of a better future drives our university’s commitment to our mission in all that we do and inspires our commitment and passion for making our nation and world more just, equitable, peaceful, and inclusive. We are committed to standing with all who are oppressed both institutionally and personally.

Miami University will stand strong in solidarity with all higher education institutions and organizations which unequivocally condemn injustice, bigotry, racism, and discrimination. We will strive to build a framework of peace, safety, and inclusion where all may thrive. We have written and spoken the words; we will follow with our actions and deeds. Join us.

Ronald B. Scott
Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion