Statement "Regarding Derek Chauvin Trial Verdict with Guidance and Resources" (4/16/2021—Updated 4/21/2021)
Dear Community Members,
The trial of Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd coupled with additional recent murders of people of African descent and other hate and violence against Black and Indigenous people and people of color named or not in the media; disparities impacting intersecting marginalized groups; mass shootings; and the related barrage of media coverage—further deepen what many of us have already been feeling and experiencing—our communities are exhausted.
Beyond the ongoing challenges that COVID presents globally, there are unceasing, relentless, daily, persistent, pervasive acts of racism, xenophobia, transphobia, sexism, ableism, and many other -isms that continue to impact historically marginalized communities. The various forms of rampant racist violence, bias, and injustice against Black, Indigenous, Asian, and Latinx communities, the rise of transphobic policies across the country, voter suppression, and other acts of systemic and systematic marginalization against certain groups of peoples and communities are simply unacceptable.
Regardless of yesterday's guilty verdicts in the Chauvin trial and his upcoming sentencing for murdering George Floyd and the pursuit of justice being sought in Daunte Wright’s killing and those of so many other people, and recognizing the grand jury decision not to charge the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor, the mass murder of eight people in Atlanta including six Asian women, and on and on—we know this violence and systematic and systemized oppression, unfortunately, continues to persist. We know there are many people and communities that have been impacted and subjected to assaults, violence, bias, and hate, and while some of this has been publicly acknowledged, frankly and unfortunately, there are many other instances that have gone unaddressed and unacknowledged. The Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation (OGI) acknowledges the communal pain, the anger, the enervation, and sadness across the aforementioned communities, and our team continues to engage efforts (including resources, guidance, and programmatic spaces) that center historically marginalized communities in all of our work.
While we certainly understand the importance of statements, which conceivably could be issued constantly given racist violence happening every day, this communication is also a reminder to the NYU community that OGI’s ongoing efforts center on action that is built in scholarly research and focused on accountability, transformation, and sustained action-oriented change.
We are thankful to all of our partners and for the support that so many are providing to one another across our NYU global communities. As we move into the rest of this semester, we would like to suggest a few ways that you might consider supporting yourself and your fellow students, faculty, staff, and administrators, where appropriate:
- Acknowledge that current events have a significant impact on historically marginalized communities.
- Examples of acknowledgment could include verbal and/or written statements, creating spaces for conversation and time to reflect, process, and/or educate, and partnering with offices on programs and interventions. Please note: it is important to be intentional and thoughtful in work with community members and to address emerging concerns and needs.
- If there is a major event that could have a direct impact on your students or teams, consider beginning your first meeting or class with a moment of recognition, such as: “As your <insert: leader, professor, colleague, etc.>, I want to recognize that <insert topic> has occurred. I understand that many of you/us may be deeply troubled and experiencing pain, exhaustion, etc. Please know that you have my support, as well as the support of many across the NYU community. Also, please let me know if you need accommodations or flexibility with any work. I want to ensure you are seeking out the range of resources and support available to you across NYU. You can visit the OGI website where you can find links to a plethora of resources and links to other offices that can assist you across NYU <of course refer to as many resources as you might see fit>.”
- Be mindful of the ways in which student group activities, classroom assignments, work tasks, and Zoom camera expectations may need to adjust or account for these needs (e.g., where possible—offer flexibility on deadlines, adjust meeting time and focus, record sessions, etc.).
- UPDATED: Utilize resources and past programs offered through OGI to educate yourself and share with others for continued learning:
- Post-Verdict Student Reflection Space: Thursday, April 22, 2021 from 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. EDT
- Post-Verdict Faculty & Staff Reflection Space: Friday, April 23, 2021 from 3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. EDT
- Anti-Racism Education, Programs, and Resources
- OGI’s previous statements related to ongoing acts of violence that have been posted on our website
- Curated YouTube Playlists of past events and conversations
- President Hamilton’s Statement on the Verdict
- As part of this educational institution, leverage other educational resources available to you on- and off-campuses—including our extraordinary institutes and centers—to research histories, legacies, and present-day realities of -isms globally.
- Engage with broader NYU global community resources; practice self and community care and note these selected resources:
- Advocacy Tips and Resources (including protest tips and organizations/social media accounts to follow)
- Spiritual Life Advisors and Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga
- Wellness Exchange
- Student Health Center
- Employee Assistance Program
- Office of Work Life
- Student Life Staff
- Residence Life staff
- iLearn for our employees
As our community moves into the next week with anticipated verdicts etc., we hope you proactively connect with the aforementioned resources along with others available to you. As always, members of the OGI staff are working tirelessly in support of all of our global communities. We also encourage you to continue to visit our website to receive that the most up-to-date information about upcoming events and programs and subscribe to OGI newsletters through which we highlight new resources and rerelease pertinent program recordings for our community to utilize today, next week, and beyond.
Taking action during these turbulent times requires each of us to work closely with our fellow NYU community members. No one strategy or action will erase violence, racism, and oppression; it will take accountability, ongoing collective efforts and actions, innovations, and cross-generational engagements to make substantive, transformational, and sustainable change.
—Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation
Within the Office of the President
Statement on "Mass Killing in Atlanta and Continued Anti-Asian Racism and Hate Violence" (3/17/2021)
Last night, in Atlanta, there was another mass shooting in the United States, in which at least eight people were murdered, six of whom were of Asian women, and another attack in New York City against an Asian Person. First, we state again that we unequivocally and firmly repudiate actions and racist statements against Asian communities and remain in solidarity with our Asian/Pacific Islander/American community members. We recognize and acknowledge the deep fear that our students, faculty, staff, alumni and their communities are experiencing, and how alarming this ongoing violence is. We have been aware of the rise in anti-Asian bias incidents in New York City since the onset of the pandemic; this is an issue we take very seriously, and one to which we are committed on multiple fronts. We remain committed to taking actions that demonstrate our unwavering support.
OGI is working diligently in solidarity with our partners across NYU to take action through a variety of strategies and efforts, including developing and providing resources and supports, designing programs and educational opportunities, consulting with schools, units, and departments on their efforts, etc.
Most immediately, in response to last night’s mass murder and continued anti-Asian violence, the Office of Global Spiritual Life, in partnership with OGI and many other offices, is hosting a Vigil for Atlanta Shooting Victims and Victims of Anti-Asian Hate Violence from 4:00 - 5:00 EDT today, March 17, 2021 (note this vigil has now passed). In addition, NYU’s APA Institute's event with Ai-jen Poo tonight will be refocused to address the horrific and tragic events of last night, and the not new, but horrific continual violence against Asian communities (note this event has now passed). OGI’s Center for Multicultural Education and Programs will also continue its outreach and support to student groups. Institutionally, we ask that everyone report any incidents of anti-Asian violence or abuse to the NYU Department of Public Safety, NYU Office of Equal Opportunity, and NYU’s Bias Response Line, so that we can take immediate action. Finally, as mentioned in a recent communitywide email from members of NYU’s Senior Leadership Team, “NYU continues to offer a host of supportive services to all those who seek this kind of support, from mindfulness classes to access to counselors. The Wellness Exchange; the Employee Assistance Program; the Student Health Center; the Office of Global Spiritual Life; the Office of Work Life; the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation; Student Affairs staff; Residence Life staff; webinars and courses offered through iLearn for our employees on handling change, as well as other offerings, and your dean’s offices, all stand ready to support you.”
In partnership with NYU’s Department of Public Safety, NYU has been monitoring incidences of anti-Asian activity on campus as reported through NYU’s Bias Response Line. While there has not been an increase in bias response reports among members of our community, given the situation in New York City and the rise of anti-Asian violence, we must remain particularly vigilant. We also understand that this data does not reflect the magnitude of the pain, distress, and terror that many both inside and outside of the NYU community are experiencing. The current trend of anti-Asian racism has deeply rooted historic legacies that we continue to address at NYU in our efforts to realize equity across institutional global communities.
Of course, as I mentioned before, OGI is not acting alone; throughout this year, and currently, we continue to work in tandem with our colleagues throughout the University - including the Center for Student Life, the Office of Equal Opportunity, Health and Wellness teams, the Office of Public Safety, faculty in various academic departments (in particular the Asian/Pacific/American Studies department), our colleagues at NYU Shanghai, and external advocacy groups like ASCEND - to confront this challenge and educate the community at large about this concerning national trend.
We also want to again remind our community of the following information and resources:
- Statement on Anti-Asian Violence from the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU and NYU Faculty Members of Asian/Pacific/American Studies, Asian Studies, and Asian Diasporic Studies
- President Hamilton’s institutional statement on anti-Asian hate (03/17/2021)
- OGI’s statement addressing Surges in Anti-Asian Racism (2/16/2021)
- OGI’s statement on Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia from 4/20/2020;
Resources: In addition to these listed statements, having recognized the need to support our various community members, we and others across the schools have been curating a range of events, resources, toolkits, and partnerships internally and externally, as well as learning and development opportunities, to further engage in anti-racism work, education, and dialogue. The following resources are distributed on our websites, leaders, and partners across various school units, departments, and their Global Inclusion Officer(s):
- Addressing Anti-Asian Racism: Statements, Scholarly Articles, and Responses (updated periodically)
- Anti-Racism Education, Programs, and Resources (updated periodically)
- Messages of support and resources from the NYU A/P/A Institute, A/P/A COVID Updates.
Programs: We continue to share program recording from last Spring (May 4, 2020), Coping with & Contextualizing Anti-Asian Racism & Pandemics, to provide historical understandings and provide wellbeing strategies for these challenging times, as part of our NYU BeTogether initiative and work with others to sponsor ongoing programming such as those listed below.
NYU Returns Coronavirus Hub Website: This site was created to meet the enormous demand for information around our pandemic response operation - includes a special section on the bottom of the homepage that addresses those who may feel “ostracized, bullied, or mistreated due to ignorance around this disease” and encourages the reporting of these incidents.
We in OGI are deeply concerned about the ongoing racism, xenophobia, biased actions, and the hostile sentiments directed towards those who identify as Asian here in the United States and elsewhere. We remain vigilant and encourage all members of the NYU community to report incidents, avail themselves and make others aware of the educational and other resources available, support one another and give individuals time to process, be aware of the impact this is having on so many, and take action to address issues of racism and xenophobia when they occur.
Statement on "Addressing Surges in Anti-Asian Racism—A Message from OGI" (2/16/2021)
Dear NYU Community,
Given recent occurrences and instances of ongoing xenophobia and racism directed toward members of Asian & Pacific Islander (API) communities, we are writing to ensure you and members of your NYU communities are aware of some upcoming programming, resources, and updates, as well as some recent legislation.
Before sharing more, in case you are not aware, February 12, 2021, was the beginning of the Lunar New Year—the Year of the Ox; we hope everyone continues to take good care as this new cycle begins. Please take a moment to review this celebration that took place at NYU Shanghai to celebrate the Lunar New Year, along with this video message from NYU-Shanghai.
As Dr. Coleman wrote in April 2020, we in OGI continue to stand in solidarity with our Asian/ Pacific Islander/ American community members, and firmly repudiate anti-Asian actions and racist statements that have harmed members of these communities. We encourage you to visit the OGI website to review the full statement issued by Dr. Coleman in April 2020 and to utilize some of the resources listed, including the panel discussion Coping with and Contextualizing Anti-Asian Racism and Pandemics. We also hope you get involved with upcoming opportunities and resources such as:
- ASCEND’s 2021 Lunar New Year Celebration on February 17, 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m. EST. (You can also follow ASCEND through their website.)
- Mending in Ongoing Crisis: Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander Voices and COVID-19 on February 22, 6:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. EST. (Presented by NYU’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute. For a complete listing of programs, you can visit A/P/A Institute’s website events page website.)
- Transnational Feminisms and Reimagining in (Post) COVID World Conference on February 26, 10:00 a.m.–4:40 p.m. EST. (Sponsored by NYU Womxn100; NYU OGI; NYU CSGS; NYU’s A/P/A Institute; SouthAsia | NYU; and the New York Center for Global Asia.)
- NYU’s New York Center for Global Asia hosts a variety of programs such as the upcoming program in April (Dates TBA) called Show Me a Mountain: The Jamaican Chinese Community.
- OGI Anti-Racism Resources [webpage] (that continues to be updated periodically), Toolkit for Navigating Difficult Conversations Related to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism [PDF], and OGI Resources for Addressing Anti-Asian Racism [webpage].
- For additional programs from NYU Shanghai, please visit the NYU Shanghai Events Calendar.
In addition, the Biden administration issued the Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States on January 26, 2021. This memorandum was issued to specifically address the unfortunate and ongoing xenophobia, violence, and racism directed toward members of the API communities; please share with members of your local communities, units, departments, and schools.
Finally, we would like to thank our partners in Shanghai, the Center for Global Asia, the NYU A/P/A Institute, and others in the NYU community for their leadership, and want to highlight again messages of support and resources that are circulating to counter the misinformation that has been mobilized to create environments of bias, hostility, and antagonism. We continue to work in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders to address intersectional issues of racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, ableism, antisemitism, islamophobia, ageism, classism, between and amongst communities, and also to highlight opportunities to be accountable to one another as we build community together. We hope that you will join us in supporting members of our API communities, and we hope to connect with you at upcoming events and programs.
Wishing everyone the continued best,
Office of Global Inclusion Team
Statement on "Reflections on NYU MLK Week and the Start of Black History Month from Dr. Lisa Coleman" (2/1/2021)
Dear Members of the NYU Community,
I am wishing you a successful start to the Spring 2021 Semester, and as always, I hope that you and your loved ones continue to take care as we navigate today, and what lies ahead. February 1st, 2021 is the start of NYU’s 16th Annual MLK Week commemoration during which we hope you will join us for some unique events and collective learning opportunities. It is also the beginning of what has been designated as Black History Month. As I prepared for this week and month, I have been reflecting deeply on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this year’s MLK Week theme, “Chaos or Community?,” and all that we have and continue to confront across the globe. As we enter into these commemorations, I wanted to take some time to share thoughts about the chaos we have experienced, but also about community and our future together.
I will not be so bold as to say that I know what MLK, Jr. might do or say today; I, like others, can try to interpret his legacy through his teachings. Some of my takeaways are that we must continue to boldly call out and address ongoing injustices and travesties, including the relentless assaults on the civil rights of some and the obvious disparities that we have all witnessed over these last months (in some ways crystallized by the January 6th insurrection). As we highlight Black history, some of my lingering questions are: in all that we continue to witness, why does it take the death of BIPOC persons, and brutality and violence depicted in the most gruesome ways, for there to be the acknowledgment of and action against racism (even when the documentation, research, and evidence for decades are clear)? Why does it take the horrific and over-the-top spectacle of and visual images of Black death to get any reaction from general society? Why is there very little recognition of the enduring trauma and fear that Black communities experience as a result of ongoing assaults?
Before, during, and since the time of MLK, Jr., we have witnessed systematic killing and oppression of historically marginalized racial and ethnic communities, recharged xenophobia, the rise of terror, redlining, racism and its intersections embedded in the fabric of our institutional contexts, and on, and on. We have witnessed that, even when discussing the ways in which some lives matter and others do not, the disparate impact on indigenous communities, women, LGBTQ+ persons, some religious groups, and people with disabilities is often treated as taboo, divisive, too bold, or too radical to mention; and, far too often specific voices are continually silenced. Today, despite the many people who are focused on COVID-19 with great dedication, we (members of historically marginalized and disenfranchised communities) have and continue to experience willful negligence in addressing a pandemic that has exacerbated inequities and ravaged historically marginalized communities through the compounding disparities that continue to impact particular populations.
However, amid all of the aforementioned, I am reminded that we have also witnessed joy, excellence, brilliance, scholarship, advocacy, courage, innovation, and radical accountability. No matter how small at times, there continues to be a light —a collective of community action— emerging through the chaos. It is this burst of collaborative engagement that inspires me to do more, to work, and to recommit myself to the possibilities and processes of global higher education—to learning and the dissemination of research, to working with new generations as we build on the work of those who came before us, to creating new leadership pathways, to taking action that transforms “what was” into “what can be." It is possible to move out of chaos. We can collectively move toward a community that acknowledges our differences rather than obliterating them or one another. We can continue to educate about our histories and take action. We can develop concrete strategies to innovate and re-imagine a world where we focus on ensuring everyone can thrive, and not just survive.
To close this reflection, I have been thinking about how many have referred to our current reality as a “new normal.” I think we might have the opportunity to reconsider our histories of so-called normal and make change. Perhaps we need a “new different”—new possibilities, new opportunities, new ways of recognizing disparity and terror, new ways of “doing” based in research and action. For me, leadership is about transformation (taken from the South African notion of transformation in the post-apartheid period), moving from chaos to community— not a space of false optics, but rather a nuanced and generative space for the proliferation of community with varying ideas that are contested, and sometimes debated, not to annihilate but instead to create new, different ways of being and doing.
Perhaps then, in this “new different,” members of historically marginalized communities will be recognized for their gifts, and ongoing benevolence—understood to be solutions rather than problems to be fixed or patronized; allowed to partake in the immense civil and human rights afforded to others in the fullest extent; and, celebrated for the tremendous contributions to society they have made and continue to make in the face of adversities. So, again, while I don’t know what Martin Luther King, Jr. would do or say, his work demonstrates that we must take action, we must work together, and we must love one another with a radical love that ignites equity and engages radical accountability.
“ ...it must frankly be said… (they) are not putting in a similar mass effort to reeducate themselves out of their racial ignorance.”
–Martin Luther King, Jr.
“The world is before you and you need not take it or leave it as it was when you came in.”
I hope that you will join us in taking action to engage the complexity of community and the non-sanitized legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as we move out of chaos toward communal change and our collective “new different.”
Lisa Coleman, PhD
New Biden Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity Revokes Trump Executive Order 13950 (Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping) (1/25/2021)
January 25, 2021
President Biden, on his first day in office, issued the new Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. The order contains various elements, including revocation of the Trump Administration's Executive Order 13950 on Race and Sex Stereotyping that outlined requirements with respect to certain workplace trainings for federal, contractors, and their employees.
We, in OGI, are beyond pleased with this development as potential barriers or hurdles in providing essential and ongoing DEI learning opportunities to the NYU community have been removed. Over the next weeks, we will be working with NYU Leadership to update our guidance related to the revoked executive order and meeting with Global Inclusion Officers to recalibrate. At NYU, we remain steadfast in our advocacy for our research, education, learning, pedagogical, and co-curricular efforts that advance DEI and access efforts and will continue in the University’s efforts to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of our global communities.
An End-of-Fall 2020 Semester Message from Dr. Lisa Coleman (12/16/20)
As 2020 closes, we in OGI share our deepest thanks and appreciation for your partnership as we have confronted such unprecedented and painful times together.
Learning from the challenges 2020 has brought, we have continued to advance DEI excellence at NYU and beyond in partnership and collaboration.
From NYU BeTogether, to ongoing educational opportunities, to action planning and implementation; we will begin 2021 continuing to innovate, act, and transform—together. During the break, please consider checking out our 2020 program recordings (review a recap of selected programs), and submitting nominations for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award (due Jan. 5) and the Patricia M. Carey Changemaker Award (due Jan. 11) ahead of NYU MLK Week 2021.
We hope that you take time to rest, relax, and recharge over the break. Thank you again! Please continue to take good care.
Dr. Lisa Coleman and the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation
Post-Election Statement to the NYU Community (11/10/20)
Dear NYU Community,
Across NYU, we engage in our learning, our work, our writing, and our research after historical election results in the United States, including but not limited to:
- Joe Biden, a graduate of a state university, became the oldest elected President of the United States (US).
- Kamala Harris, a graduate of a Historically Black College/University (HBCU), was elected Vice President of the United States, the first woman and first Black and South Asian American to hold that office.
- The most indigenous people in United States’ history were elected to Congress—Tom Cole, Sharice Davids, Debra Haaland, Yvette Herrell, Kaiali'i Kahele, and Markwayne Mullin.
- Mondaire Jones and Ritchie Torres were elected to Congress and will be the first openly gay Black and openly gay Afro-Latino members of Congress, respectively.
- New Mexico makes history by becoming the first state to elect all women of color to the House—Teresa Leger Fernandez, Debra Haaland, and Yvette Herrell.
- Cori Bush was elected to the US House, Missouri’s first black US congressperson.
- Mauree Turner was elected to the Oklahoma State House of Representatives becoming the United States’ first nonbinary state legislator, Oklahoma's first Muslim legislator, and the first Black person to represent the state's 88th district.
- Delaware State senate becomes the first state to elect a transgender state senator in the United States—Sarah McBride.
Building on the work of generations of activism, women from historically marginalized communities and Indigenous, Black, and People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, and LGBTQ+ organizers led efforts that resulted in historic voting numbers all while fighting well-researched voter suppression strategies that are historically rooted in systemic racism (as our Post-Election Panel with NYU Faculty discussed on November 5, 2020).
We must also acknowledge the differing points of view that have been highlighted over the last month (and years). The outcome of the election for some people may not feel positive, and as we witnessed with the celebrations in the streets in NYC, many others are jubilant. Particularly, for individuals of historically marginalized communities, so many of whom have given so much to this country but unfortunately have not always received equitable protections and/or related opportunities in return, this year’s results may be a moment to pause and celebrate the diversity and inclusion that will be more reflected in the leadership of the US, and in governmental practices.
Yet, as we all know, and I am well aware, “firsts” are just that—the first steps. “Firsts” often signal that there is a long way to go, and, in this case, that there is much work needed to continue to ensure equal representation in the leadership of the United States and that representation is leveraged in the creation of equitable national policies and laws. This is work that we as a university, community, and nation will do together. It is in this spirit that at NYU, we can come together to honor our differences and collectively make the systems and practices in our community and beyond more fair and equitable.
As an NYU community, we must a) continue to reckon with and interrogate injustice, inequities, and the systemic and systematic racism and other interlocked systems of oppression in our world that have real impact on people’s lives each day; b) work through contestation and division; and c) leverage the vast global diversity of our NYU community while taking real actions that address policies, practices, systems, and structures that accelerate equity and transformational change at NYU and in our larger societies.
As we know from an abundance of research, diversity of leadership is essential to solving the critical, complex, systemic, and life-threatening challenges we are experiencing in the United States and globally, including, but not limited to: the continued COVID-19 pandemic and its exacerbated disparities in health and loss of life; the pervasive violence against and disenfranchisement of historically marginalized communities; and the ongoing worldwide demonstrations, protests, and unrest in response to systemic racism and oppression. So what is certain in all that we are experiencing right now, is that we must continue to deepen our efforts around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in order to innovate and find solutions rapidly.
And, while elected officials and individual leaders are undoubtedly important, our individual and collective day-to-day, ongoing efforts that advance equity are equally as critical. Please join me, the Office of Global Inclusion (OGI), and our partners as we recommit ourselves to innovating, acting, and transforming our communities, our organizations, and our societies in ways that create new possibilities and opportunities for tomorrow and beyond, together—NYUBeTogether.
Lisa Coleman, PhD
Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation
Guidance Regarding September 22, 2020 EO on Race and Sex Stereotyping (10/6/20)
<Updated 1/25/21> Please note: The new Biden Executive Order on Advancing Racial Equity revoked the Trump Executive Order 13950 (Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping) for which the guidance below was issued; we have kept the message below for archival purposes.
Dear NYU Community Members,
As many know, Donald J. Trump issued an Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (EO) on September 22, 2020. We are aware that countless members of our community are deeply troubled by this EO, and related events over the last weeks, months, and yes, in many instances years/decades. Since the EO was published, we have also been in communication with our peer institutions, as well as representative organizations such as the AAU and ACE*, to monitor developments.
As we come to better understand the EO as an institution, we unequivocally state that NYU is not pulling back on diversity, equity, inclusion (DEI), anti-racism, anti-sexism, and related efforts. We will continue to move forward in our university-wide work and recognize and underscore academic research that enumerates the disenfranchisement and disparate treatment that historically marginalized communities have had to bear.
As a university with campuses and sites all over the world, it is important to note that a central purpose of our NYU global DEI education is to learn about differentiated cultures, histories, peoples, and relevant power relationships through transdisciplinary/interdisciplinary research and scholarship, as part of our collective work to make our global institution more inclusive and equitable. Therefore, even as the University evaluates the recent EO, be assured that we are steadfast in our advocacy for our research, education, learning, pedagogical, and co-curricular efforts that advance DEI and will continue in the University’s efforts to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all members of our global communities.
The EO contains requirements with respect to certain workplace trainings for federal contractors and their employees, which become effective in November. Until then, we will continue to monitor developments and update the NYU community as needed.
In the meantime, NYU community members can review University Guidance Regarding Recent Presidential Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping (requires NYU log-in credentials).
Information will evolve in the coming weeks and months, and we will continue to keep our community informed. We encourage community members to continue the important global DEI work across departments, areas, and units.
Please contact the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation at email@example.com if you have questions or follow-up. Thank you to all members of our community for your ongoing hard work and commitment to inclusive excellence and equity at NYU.
All the best,
Lisa Coleman, PhD
Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation
*Additional ACE communications regarding the Executive Order
- Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Department of Justice's Lawsuit Against Yale University (October 8, 2020)
- ACE, Higher Education Groups Support Princeton in Federal Inquiry After University Acknowledges Systemic Racism (September 30, 2020)
- Trump Administration Seeks to Restrict Student Visas to a Strict Two- or Four-Year Timeframe (September 28, 2020)
A Statement from Dr. Lisa M. Coleman on Breonna Taylor's Grand Jury (9/29/20)
Dear NYU Community Members,
Breonna Taylor, a Black woman, moments before asleep in her apartment, was shot and killed by three police officers. Two officers were not charged; one officer was charged with endangering Breonna Taylor’s white neighbors. The layers and levels of individual, structural, and systemic racism and violence that led to Breonna’s killing are well researched and documented. The degradation faced by Black people and other historically marginalized communities at the micro- and macro-levels, both subtle and overt, has been recorded in numerous studies as simply a fact of daily life for so many. History reminds us that such practices are not new nor surprising and that they are ongoing, deeply rooted historically, and woven into many of our systems.
Today, September 29, many in NYC and around the United States are participating in “A Day without Black Womxn,” a general strike for Breonna Taylor and in recognition of the needed action to address the ongoing racism and violence directed toward Black Womxn. OGI supports NYU community members who are participating in the strike and schools, units, and departments that are engaging in related activities and discussions.
Personally, as I have written to you before not only am I frustrated, troubled, outraged, exhausted, and deeply alarmed by the continuation and retrenchment of the looming and horrifying spectacle of Black death, the related xenophobia, and the violence that persists and pervades, I am also enraged and exasperated by the ways in which the response to such assaults and acts of violence are being coded and recoded. In our discourse and in our actions, we must not only recognize the ways in which such forces are at work, but we must also hold accountable those in positions of power that continue to uphold these systems, enact violence against marginalized communities, and take concrete actions to make systematic and sustained changes.
Research also identifies the specific impact on members of historically marginalized communities, and as a result, we are aware that many in our community and beyond are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. If you need it, please note that the Wellness Exchange continues to be available for students and the Employee assistance services are available for other members of our community.
As an NYU community, we must certainly address our own issues, acknowledge the urgent work that still needs to be done, and take immediate action. Each of us, regardless of your role on campus, has the tremendous opportunity and responsibility to contribute to the institution and beyond. In OGI we remain committed to taking action, creating educational and learning resources to support individual and collection action, and continuing to work with partners across the University through the NYUBeTogether initiative. As a community, we can work together to learn from our research and history and build together. As author James Baldwin writes, "The world is before [us], & [we] need not take it or leave it as it was when [we] came in."
We hope you continue to take good care of yourselves and each other.
Lisa M. Coleman, PhD
SVP, Global Inclusion & Strategic Innovation
A Statement from Dr. Lisa M. Coleman on the Planned Scholar Strike (9/8/20)
Dear NYU Community Members,
We have been once again confronted with the shooting and violent assault of a Black person by police–Jacob Blake. We know this is yet another in a long list of people including Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and others.
Scholars across the nation, in recognition of the needed action to address the ongoing violence and racism directed against Black people, have planned the #ScholarStrike–https://academeblog.org/2020/09/02/scholar-strike/September, 8-9. OGI stands in solidarity with the NYU faculty councils and their support of the #ScholarStrike.
In OGI, we continue to address Institutional and systemic racism, and remain committed to the much needed change and action steps required to address the systems that support ongoing violence directed toward people of African descent. As an NYU community, we must address our own issues, acknowledge the urgent work that still needs to be done, and take immediate actions for change.
For those members of our community who choose to participate in the #ScholarStrike, OGI urges leaders, schools, departments, chairs, and other departmental/unit leaders to be flexible and supportive of the choices made by individual faculty, staff/administrators, and students.
OGI continues to create anti-racism and other resources to support your conversations. We also know that the impact and burden of representation for BIPOC people are compounded by these incidents of violence. Please note that the Wellness Exchange continues to be available for students and the Employee assistance services are available for other members of our community.
We hope that all members of our community continue to take good care, and take action.
Presentation: Office of Global Inclusion Virtual Community Update (8/25/2020)
A recording of the August 25, 2020 Office of Global Inclusion Virtual Community Update can be found on NYU Stream. (NYU Login required)
Statement from Dr. Lisa Coleman Regarding Professor Lawrence Mead (7/28/20)
Over the past months, media coverage of anti-Black violence, racism, xenophobia, and exacerbated inequities have increased with movements for justice spreading across our nation and globe. While such realities are not new and, for many of us, are lived day-to-day challenges and oppressions, we are in an important moment of opportunity to make transformational change together. Part of this transformation is to reflect on the important role that academia has played (and plays) in advancing equity and perpetuating inequity.
There has been much coverage on social media related to a recent article, “Poverty and Culture,” written by NYU Professor Lawrence Mead, prompting questions about who we are as an NYU community and what types of ideas and beliefs we support and promote. The University issued a statement as did the Faculty of Arts and Science (FAS) and Wagner Leadership. Quoting FAS and Wagner Leadership, we, too in the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation, “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.” We are further vitalized by the ongoing evidence of our need to create spaces for dialogue, education, and co-creation of community values grounded in equity and inclusion.
History and present-day has taught us that language, through scholarship and policy, can be used to codify and sustain legacies of racism and discrimination that are pernicious. And it is true that historically, academic research has also been mobilized to legitimize racist discourses. As a University and a community of Higher Education, we recognize the high-stakes relationships between academic knowledge production, public discourse, and policy-making in maintaining or transforming the status quo of disparity and inequity, and the importance of holding each other accountable to realize and sustain a more just and anti-racist NYU global community and across broader society.
OGI continues to work across the University and with our institutional partners to provide resources, take action, and educate about the individual, systemic assaults, and violence impacting so many of our communities. We must use this moment of opportunity to take action to make our communities stronger. We invite you to be part of an upcoming panel, Interrogating Racist Ideologies, Free Speech and Hate Speech: A Critical Conversation. Please RSVP to be a part of this important conversation.
Lisa M. Coleman, PhD
SVP, Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation
Statement from Dr. Lisa M. Coleman on Protests and Anti-Black Racism (6/4/20)
Dear NYU Community Members,
We hope everyone is continuing to take good care of themselves, colleagues, and loved ones during these challenging times. We are all very aware of the ongoing media coverage highlighting the recent deaths and violence rooted in racism and anti-Blackness that have reemerged during the COVID-19 pandemic; and we also know that such oppression is not new, nor surprising; it is ongoing, deeply rooted historically, and woven into many of our collective systems and practices. The violence, degradation, and genocide faced by Black people is simply a fact of daily life for so many of us, and is epitomized in the tragic deaths of individuals including, but not limited to:
Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, Botham Shem Jean, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, Akai Gurley, Oscar Grant, Laquan McDonald, Tulsa 1921, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Jordan Davis, Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Alton Sterling, Stephon Clark, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, David McAtee, Emmett Till and countless others.
These global systemic and systematic patterns of racial aggression are often grounded in histories and legacies of state- and socio-politically sanctioned violence that is particularly focused on and targets Black and Indigenous peoples. This violence is frequently intersectional and directed toward marginalized and underrepresented peoples in the forms of xenophobia, homophobia, transphobia, heterosexism, and degradation; toward an array of people of color and multiethnic and multiracial populations; toward LGBTQ+ communities, in particular those who are people of color; and toward those who are socio-economically disenfranchised though systems of inequity. The stakes of these intersections are high, and the consequences of the aggression are often deadly. And, as our history reminds us and as our current stories and present day realities reflect, the indisputable disparities and inequities in our society have real impact and often lead to dismissal and denial, misrepresentation of facts, annihilation, and death.
Not only am I frustrated, troubled, outraged, exhausted, and deeply alarmed by the continuation and retrenchment of racism, the looming and horrifying spectacle of Black death, the related xenophobia and biased actions, and the violence that seems to be increasing, but I am also enraged and exasperated by the ways in which the response to such assaults and acts of violence are being coded and recoded. The insidious and ongoing violence that people of African descent have faced, as President Hamilton reminds us in his recent letter to the NYU community, gives rise to protest and to people taking action.
As many scholars and researchers remind us, what is also crucial to the discourse is that protest is not inherently violent; it is an expression of discontentment that has been used across locales, and social movements, across countries, and time. Within the context of Black resistance, protest, and social movements, there have been assertions of humanity and equality that disrupt societies that would seek to deny and destroy this very basic humanness and the right to exist. Again, we know from our academic scholars, globally and here at NYU, that social protest movements have led to great and essential change – as reflected here in the US with regard to civil rights for women and people of color in the 20’s, 50’s and 60’s; LGBTQ+ rights in the 60’s, 70’s, or 80’s; in South Africa with the anti-apartheid social movement in the 80’s; or today with the Black Lives Matter movement. People come together to express their dissatisfaction, anger, and fear about the violence and terrorism directed toward them, which is commonly sanctioned and upheld by powerful entities. In our discourse, we must not only recognize the ways in which such forces are at work, and where and how violence is being directed by powerful entities towards those on the margins, vulnerable and often less fortunate, and also where and when to take concrete steps to make systematic and sustained changes.
My team and I are doubling down on diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in partnership with all constituencies to make lasting change at NYU that reflects the voices of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni (remembering that the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation (OGI) officially began its work just two years ago and continues to build on the work of so many across the University). As President Hamilton also expressed, we must continue to assess how we, individually and collectively, make NYU and our global communities more just, equitable, and inclusive; and then most importantly, we must all engage and sustain this work.
Across OGI, we continue to collaborate with leadership, students, faculty, and staff across the University to design and implement strategies, innovations, and resources that are responsive in serving those most impacted and, in many cases, most vulnerable. Members of the OGI continue to do the following work, in addition to efforts we have launched in response to Being@NYU. We are:
- Providing consultation and guidance across the University as individuals, schools, units, and departments meet within their local and global contexts to be responsive during this time, while we continue to work with the Global Inclusion Officers Council (GIOC) in responding to specific community needs;
- Advising University leadership on new and existing programs and resources; and, in partnership with Provost Katy Flemings’ team, tracking current progress and ramping up resources and supports for faculty in engaging students, staff, and faculty peers; and,
- Hosting virtual meetings with students, faculty, and staff respectively to provide tips and guidance for micro-dialogues around high-stakes issues, planning events and programs, and convening community groups to gather relevant and salient information for working and communicating with all community members.
Right now, we continue to navigate through a pandemic together, its heightened disparate impacts, and the compounded pressures on some members of our community. Currently and post-pandemic, we have opportunities to be and to do better, or not. Unless we decide to act and to intercede, the surge of violence directed toward people of African descent will simply go underground again, only to reemerge during another disruption, pandemic, flood, hurricane, or tornado. And, the inevitable, unfortunate, and not surprising outcomes will be more “I Can’t Breathe” deaths. So it is simple - it is up to us to make changes now, to change what we do, and how we take action.
Many have heard me draw upon these sentiments in the past, and now more than ever, I reiterate them here: “If you have come here to help me you are wasting your time, but if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together,” from Australian Indigenous writer and activist Lilla Watson; and from author and justice activist James Baldwin, "The world is before [us], & [we] need not take it or leave it as it was when [we] came in."
So I ask, what will you, we, do next? We in OGI are taking action, continually working across the University to hold one another accountable, AND to create opportunities for us here at NYU to do and to be better together. Please join us. And, again, please do take very good care of yourselves, your colleagues, and loved ones.
A Message from NYU President Andrew Hamilton (5/31/20)
Dear Members of the NYU Community,
Once again, we find ourselves filled with sorrow, outrage, and grief over a loss of yet another Black person's life at the hands of law enforcement that was tragic, unjust, and avoidable. There have been numerous appalling events over the last few weeks during an already difficult time—a pandemic. While it is hard to find words to describe the shocking ghastliness of the videoed last minutes of George Floyd's life on a Minneapolis street, with a police officer's knee on his neck, the poignant and unheeded pleas of Mr. Floyd and the bystanders—as in previous occurrences—remain haunting. His cries tear at our hearts, just as the knowledge that events like this seem to happen again and again and again rips not only at our conscience but at what we all consider to be a just and humane society.
This is one of those moments when reason and knowledge and discourse, which university citizens prize so highly, often doesn't seem like enough of a response. How could they be, when these deaths keep recurring, and when racism continues to manifest itself, even in our own community?
But reason, discourse, study, evidence, analysis—those are our tools, and events like the killing of George Floyd should not cause us to set them aside, but instead to redouble our exertions to use them in the cause of addressing racism, xenophobia, violence, and hate to underscore social justice, human dignity, inclusion, and peace. Many of our scholars already study the issues so evident in the Floyd video— inequality, race, and the inequities of the criminal justice system. Over the summer, I will be examining—and I am sure this will be true for many of you, too—how else our University might contribute to the goal of creating more just practices and systems. In the meantime, on behalf of the NYU community, I offer our University's sympathies to the family and loved ones of George Floyd, with whom we grieve for his lost life and the unspeakable suffering to which he was subjected, as well all of those impacted by this and the other terrible recent events. To deal with these types of issues while simultaneously navigating a pandemic that is giving rise to differential impacts on communities of color, and in particular, those of African descent, is especially oppressive.
Finally, my heart goes out to those in our own community who have been feeling overwhelmed by grief or apprehension because of fear for their own safety, their families, and loved ones. I want to remind you that NYU stands with you, and we have resources to help: for students at the Wellness Exchange, and for employees through Carebridge. And please also note that the Office of Global Inclusion (OGI) continues to plan events for the community.
In sorrow with you all,
Statement from NYU President Andrew Hamilton and NYU Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation Lisa Coleman (5/29/20)
We stand in solidarity and support with those who oppose hate, ignorance, and divisiveness.
At a time when we are challenged and should be standing united against a new plague, the coronavirus, we continue to have to battle another ancient plague that seeks to divide us: racism, bigotry, and hatred across the United States. So, we were especially troubled and disappointed by a set of Instagram posts that appear to have emanated from members of the NYU chapter of a national fraternity. The sentiments expressed in these posts are abhorrent, at odds with our community’s values, and counter to the inclusive community we seek to create for everyone at NYU.
The matter is being investigated by NYU's Office of Student Conduct, and the national leadership of the fraternity, Lambda Phi Epsilon, has placed the NYU chapter on interim suspension while it investigates the situation. According to NYU's established protocol, we will also order the fraternity to suspend all programs and activities pending resolution through our own processes.
The fact that such an egregious incident happened within our own community is a painful reminder of the pervasive nature of the scourge of racism. We encourage all in our community to continue to utilize reporting resources like the Bias Response Line (BRL), and to avail themselves of supportive services like the Wellness Exchange (for students) and the Carebridge Employee Assistance Program (for employees).
We will not let this moment define or undermine who we are as a community. We stand in solidarity and support with those who oppose hate, ignorance, and divisiveness.
Statement of Solidarity during the COVID-19 Pandemic (5/6/20)
We, in the Office of Global Inclusion (OGI), hope that all of our community members, including their loved ones, across the world are well and taking very good care. The impact of COVID-19 has been tremendous in so many and varied ways. We, in OGI, want to clearly state -- we are troubled, outraged, and remain deeply concerned and alarmed by the racism, xenophobia, stereotypes, and biased actions that have and continue to be directed against people based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, SES, nationality, and/or citizenship status. We also are in solidarity with the many people who continue to have to work, deliver, care for, and support all of those who are sheltering in place.
Many people, companies, etc. are already experiencing a magnitude of challenges and there are additional impacts that have yet to be understood. History reminds us that ethnic bias, xenophobia, and racism are intensified during times of health and economic crises – the SARS and MERS outbreaks are other unfortunate recent examples. We also see the differential impact on those “essential” workers who must expose themselves daily in service to others to help others, maintain systems, structures and critical business continuity, and the like. Of course, this includes our health care workers and providers, police and public safety officials, and also our grocery, mail and delivery workers. Those who are classified as essential often have to work, and as a result, many workers and their communities are seeing higher rates of infection; and, rather than identifying the multiplicity of compounding factors impacting communities, some groups are inappropriately blamed for the deaths.
History reminds us of “who” is often in service to ‘whom,” and how disease and infection correlate with service and socioeconomic statuses. The confounding and intersectional impact on people of color and women are well noted and researched. From massive amounts of scholarship, what we know all too well is that the differential impact of disease continues and correlates with experiences of disenfranchisement, xenophobia, stereotyping, ethnic biases, marginalization, hetrosexism, sexism, and racism that disproportionately affect some communities more than others. Unfortunately, during this COVID-19 pandemic, we are again seeing historic and globalized patterns of discrimnation and disparities heightened. We continue to: work with our students, faculty and staff globally in partnerships and collaborations that highlight and deliver relevant research and co-curricular programs; to deliver more inclusive pedagogical tools as we all navigate the now; and to work with partners, alums, and all across our experimental platforms, campuses, and sites to offer programs and opportunities for us all to work together.
As we develop interventions, vaccines and the like, a new normal will indeed emerge. Let us hope it brings us together in ways that both acknowledge our differences and align our actions with those recognitions.
Let us begin by thanking all of those who continue to keep all of us (in whatever ways that might be) healthy and well and acknowledging the differential impacts on communities. First, as I stated earlier, from our healthcare providers; those shopping and delivering, and working in grocery stores; to the people who maintain our facilities and so much more, we are deeply indebted to you who do so much for the collective. Simply, THANK YOU. We very much appreciate all that you are continuing to do for all of us. Secondly, there is a differential impact on particular communities, and in OGI we stand in solidarity, and continue work on behalf of our students, faculty and staff to produce knowledge, pedagogy, and research for our essential, and often vulnerable communities.
Finally, in many ways it seems that the COVID-19 disruption has pressed at existing fractures in the very foundations of our global communities, and we are all experiencing disruption, across a continuum of differential impacts. We, in OGI, remain determined in the hope that across NYU, and by including our partners all of over the world we can strategically address the overwhelmingly evident disparities that the current pandemic and other such disruptions exacerbate; and in doing so enable us to create more equitable, more inclusive connections, systems, and structures to navigate the present and direct the vision of our collective future.
We at NYU are an ingenious and resilient community, global in our reach, teaching research and knowledge production; we are more than equipped to support one another; to forge new paths; to be innovative, nimble and entrepreneurial. By doing so, TOGETHER we will be able to create and sustain diverse, inclusive, dynamic, global NYU communities and beyond.
Again, wishing everyone, and families, friends, and loved ones the continued best,
Lisa M. Coleman, Ph.D.
Please see “Links to Resources” and “Previous COVID-19 Related Events” below for related resources.
Statement on Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobia (4/20/20)
We, in the Office of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Strategic Innovation, are deeply concerned and alarmed by the recent upsurge of racism, biased actions, and the hostile sentiments directed toward Asian-identified people across our country and elsewhere.
We stand in solidarity with our Asian/ Pacific Islander/ American community members, and firmly repudiate anti-Asian actions and racist statements that have harmed members of our NYU, stakeholder, and partner communities. As many know, historically, ethnic bias, xenophobia, and racism have intensified during times of health and economic crises – the SARS and MERS outbreaks are other unfortunate recent examples.
Many across NYU and elsewhere, including our team here in OGI, have come together in support of Asian/ Pacific Islander/ American community members. We in OGI continue to partner with other offices to offer a list of additional resources, which will continue to be updated. Our aim in doing so is to provide some context, examples of statements against anti-Asian racism and bias, as well as a range of scholarly research on the historical roots of racism and xenophobia against Asian-identified people.
We thank the NYU A/P/A Institute for their leadership, and want to highlight such messages of support and resources that are circulating to counter the misinformation that has been mobilized to create environments of bias, hostility, and antagonism.
Click here for a list of resources addressing anti-Asian racism (including statements, scholarly articles, and responses)
Statement from NYU Senior Vice President for Global Inclusion and Strategic Innovation Lisa Coleman (3/12/20)
Hello NYU Community Members,
We hope that you are doing well and taking very good care during these challenging and uncertain times. Thank you to all those who are working tirelessly on the front lines, behind the scenes, and in every capacity to help those in need! We support you and appreciate all you are doing for all of us. Please remember there are also resources for faculty, staff and students, including counseling and opportunities to provide ongoing support for members of our own NYU community through these difficult times. I hope that each of you is practicing self-care.
We in the Office of Global Inclusion (OGI) have continued to work with our partners across all of our schools and campuses as we become acclimated to remote work and learning, and transition to virtual programming. In OGI, we are continuing our work to support the diversity and inclusivity of our community and hope that you will join us for one of our upcoming events or programs.
Let me also say a specific thank you to all members of our NYU community, and in particular members of our health care communities and volunteers who have and continue to provide such incredible care for those in need. It is heartening to see so many of us come together across NYU, NYC, and locations across the world, to support, comfort, and simply be there for one another during these often strenuous and demanding times. At this time, we are all experimenting and learning together in this so-called “new normal”, and we know we will make mistakes, so let us all do our best to continue to have empathy and be patient with one another as we navigate the next few months.
As part of our efforts in OGI, we, too, are engaging our NYU communities in new and innovative ways. We have received numerous inquiries, and are aware of some of our community concerns, as well as ongoing programming requests, and therefore, in the upcoming months, we will offer a range of resources, virtual events and online engagement and learning opportunities. As we experiment together, we know that we will all expand what we know, and learn new ways of being and communicating with one another that we can carry forward. We hope that you will join us online, and share with others, as we learn together how to build an even stronger and more connected NYU.
Please reach out if you have questions or suggestions about programming, or just want to say hello, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We thank all of our partners and collaborators for your ongoing partnership with and support of OGI. Lastly, we want to remind everyone to TAKE VERY GOOD CARE of themselves, their families, friends, community members, and loved ones. We very much look forward to connecting virtually!