January 7, 2021
Dear SPH community,
Like many of you, yesterday we watched in horror as supporters of President Trump stormed past police at the United States Capitol and violently interfered with the counting of Electoral College votes to confirm the next president of the U.S. This most recent disruption of our democratic process by a sitting president and the violence we have witnessed in Washington, D.C., are deeply disturbing.
This event is particularly distressing as it comes on the heels of a turbulent and difficult year. The marked contrast between the law enforcement response in the nation’s Capitol yesterday compared to how law enforcement has recently and historically treated Black, brown and Indigenous communities highlights, yet again, existing racial injustices in our society. While each of us is no doubt reacting to and processing these events differently, based on our own lived experiences, we in UW SPH are united by our collective values and the knowledge that these events are reprehensible, undemocratic and wrong.
Now, more than ever, we need to come together to show solidarity and help each other heal. By listening to and working with one another and the communities we serve, we can continue to affect positive change in the world. Please show compassion for each other, particularly students in your classes and people who report to you. Find joy where you can. (Many of us are personally taking great joy in Reverend Raphael Warnock’s historic victory in Georgia yesterday.)
The next few weeks leading up to the U.S. Presidential Inauguration on Jan. 20 may continue to be chaotic. We in the School of Public Health will stand together, firm in our collective commitment to truth, justice and democracy. For those looking for opportunities to positively affirm these values in the coming weeks and months, we hope you will consider:
- Joining UW’s celebration of MLK week, Jan. 18-22. More info on volunteering here.
- Volunteering at Tent City 3, now through March. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Join the Washington State Public Health Association for virtual Legislative Education Day. Details TBA.
- Joining Seattle MLK Coalition and their workshops around anti-racism, white supremacy and police brutality, March 12-16.
- Continuing your good work organizing communities, battling mis- and disinformation, exercising your right to vote and holding our elected officials accountable.
We continue to be inspired by our community, your strength and your resilience. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you want our support or to share a conversation in the coming weeks. We in the School of Public Health will stand together, firm in our collective commitment to truth, justice and democracy.
Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, UW School of Public Health
Professor and Vice Dean for Education, UW School of Public Health
Professor and Associate Dean for Research, UW School of Public Health
Professor and Associate Dean for Public Health Practice, UW School of Public Health
Director for Student and Academic Services, UW School of Public Health
Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences
Professor and Chair, Department of Epidemiology
Professor and Chair, Department of Global Health
Professor and Chair, Department of Health Services