Dear Columbia Mailman Community, 

I am deeply pained as, yet again, anti-Black violence has demonstrated the continuing racism, discrimination, and hatred faced by communities of color in our country. Our hearts and thoughts are with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and their families, friends, and communities.
Every person has a right to dignity, safety, wellbeing, and health. These incidents, which are just the latest in a long line of anti-Black violence, demonstrate how far we are from ensuring those basic rights to all individuals.  As a public health community, we know that anti-Black violence is an epidemic, and we must develop solutions to end it.  The devastating impact of COVID-19 on communities of color has also laid bare the legacies of health inequities and injustice experienced by communities of color in our country, which are rooted in our history of slavery and upheld systemically throughout our society.  
As public health professionals who teach, research, and live the social determinants of health, we must do the hard work of individual and collective examination of racism, whiteness, and white privilege in our own School and beyond. Last year, we commemorated the 400th anniversary of the arrival of more than 20 Africans in Jamestown, Virginia who were sold into bondage with a critical exploration of the legacy of white supremacy, which continues to persist in our world. The educational, research, and administrative leaders of the School are committed to taking action to confront this legacy and be part of the solution. In the coming weeks, you will hear more about our  continuation and expansion of our efforts. 
In this time of grief and outrage, please know that our community is here for you. Resources are available, including remote emotional and mental services at CUIMC and Morningside, the Office of Student Affairs, the Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion, and Religious Life.
If you are feeling vulnerable or have questions about how to support and stand in solidarity with members of our community, please reach out to Dr. Raygine DiAquoi in the Office of Diversity, Culture, and Inclusion (rcd60@columbia.edu).
I am also sharing University Life’s message, below. We stand with our colleagues across the University to denounce these acts of hate and violence.

Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH

Dean and DeLamar Professor of Public Health
Mailman School of Public Health
Senior Vice President
Columbia University Medical Center
Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine


Dear Students,

As protests and understandable outrage unfold across the nation over the recent killings of unarmed African Americans, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, we want to acknowledge the tremendous pain this violence has caused to many in our own community.

Enshrined in Columbia’s core values is our commitment to recognize the dignity and value of every person. These most recent violent acts occur against a long backdrop of anti-Black racism in the United States, rooted in slavery and reinforced over time in many facets of our nation’s culture and institutions. And they remind us that we have a long way to go toward achieving true equality for all.

As a University, we are committed to facing and responding to the challenges of our time, which unquestionably include systemic racial inequities – in our criminal justice system, in access to socioeconomic and educational opportunity, and in health care, where we have seen the disparate impact of COVID-19 on people of color and immigrants throughout the United States.

In this difficult time, please know that you are not alone. Be kind to one another. And, as always, make use of the many available campus resources, including virtual health and counseling services (Morningside and CUIMC) and support from Religious Life.

If you or someone you know has experienced bias, please reach out to your Dean of Students. For questions or concerns regarding discrimination, please contact Student Conduct and Community Standards.

Visit the University Life website to get more information about resources, or write to universitylife@columbia.edu if you’d like to get in touch with us.

In community,

Professor Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law
Gender Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Joseph Defraine Greenwell, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs, University Life
Gender Pronouns: He/Him/His