WesternU Family,

Black Lives Matter.

To further my first message on this sent two weeks ago, we must and shall do better.

As a health professions University, of course we believe all lives are precious but there is continued righteous outrage over the murder of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others.

As a University committed first and foremost to Humanism, we strive to support everyone in our diverse WesternU Family. But all lives will not really matter until death is not differentiated by color. That people die because of their color is not only racist, it is even more profoundly unjust and inhuman.

Black Lives Matter because it is past time for society – especially in America, but truly across the world – to put right the wrongs that for centuries have been imposed on our black sisters and brothers. Yet to overcome long legacies of racism and inhumanity is a matter of urgency but even more a matter of persistence.

The Humanism SPG will work diligently but quickly to point out how best we can right these wrongs at WesternU and undo racist elements wherever these may lie within the institution and beyond.

More importantly, it will help me lead the University to build and sustain a renewed ethos of the WesternU Way that embraces Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity coalescing upon our foundation stone of Humanism.

Before the pandemic washed over the world and WesternU, we had begun to create a senior office for Humanism, Diversity, Inclusion and Equity. I had thought the Humanism SPG would further elaborate how best to proceed. But it is now vital that this advance forthwith, so I have asked Dr. Stephanie Bowlin, Chief of Mission Integration, to expedite this process.

The Humanism SPG will inform how to attract, retain, and support to success, a diverse body of students, staff, and faculty as well as how to embed into our curricula the key dimensions of the social determinants of health and disease disparities.

In these troubled times, I ask for your help to better understand how to propel progress even as I promise to do better, both as a fellow human being and as your President of this wonderful University.

It is an honor to be with you here at WesternU as, together, we move to a place where all are not only created, but actually treated, equally.

As always, stay safe, and be well.