School of Nursing

June 10, 2020

UW School of Nursing Stands in Solidarity This Week

Extraordinary circumstances merit an extraordinary response.

The death of George Floyd has catalyzed and galvanized the country’s emotions around the issues of racism and inequality. Some have marched. Some have confronted those in the power structure they hold responsible. Some have come together to discuss or dissent. Some have withdrawn to the solitude of their own thoughts, feelings, and reflections. Others have read extensively in order to better contextualize what is happening.

In circumstances such as this, every person’s response is personal, valid, and to be respected. There is pain, there is anguish, there is an accumulated burden of injustice and inequity. And there is the loss of George Floyd’s life and the lives of far too many others whose only crime was the color of their skin.

In response to these harsh realities, there are multiple public events scheduled or being scheduled in the community over the next several days. In solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other advocates, the Executive Team of the School of Nursing has agreed to suspend commitments scheduled on both Wednesday, June 10 and Friday, June 12, to allow those who wish to do so to participate in these activities. This includes postponing convocation from Friday to 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 13.

There are logistical matters that must be addressed. For students, final exams and presentations will be held on these days, subject to faculty discretion. If you require an accommodation on these days, please contact your faculty instructor. We ask faculty to be flexible in accommodating student needs during this challenging time.

For employees, UW Human Resources has provided guidance for taking time off to participate in these advocacy days. Supervisors are asked to be supportive of staff wanting to join in the actions of advocacy gatherings or marches.

The School of Nursing is wholeheartedly committed to taking actions to combat racism at all levels. We will strengthen and expand our strategic initiative for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and continue developing a sustainable plan for an equitable future.

In closing, I ask each of you to read the attached articles as a first step to engaging in antiracism and seeking equity within the context of health. Racism is a public health crisis. We as nurses must educate ourselves on how best to identify, fight, and ultimately prevent this disease.