Statement from: Antonio Merlo (Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science); Sherry Glied (Dean, Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service); Gene A. Jarrett (Seryl Kushner Dean of the College of Arts and Science); Phillip B. Harper (Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Science); David Stasavage (Dean for the Social Sciences); Susan Antón (FAS Director, Faculty Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Development); and Sanford C. Gordon (Chair, Wilf Family Department of Politics)
A recent article, “Poverty and Culture,” written by Professor Lawrence Mead has caused great distress within our community. We share this sentiment. We recognize that Professor Mead has the same rights to freedom of expression as we all do and are firm in our commitment to the principle of academic freedom. At the same time, we reject what we believe to be the article’s false, prejudicial, and stigmatizing assertions about the culture of communities of color in the United States.
Now more than ever, it is imperative that we amplify our fundamental values of diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging, and that we consistently strive to create a culture of care and respect. Our success as an institution depends on fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our community, and we must hold one another accountable in the education and support of our students and of each other. Racism, bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and discrimination have no place in our classrooms or in our academic community.