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Central Washington University

Message from Dr. Delores (Kandee) Cleary, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Dear CWU Community,

A year ago, this country experienced a watershed moment. A black man, George Floyd, was murdered by police during an arrest after a store clerk alleged that he had passed a counterfeit $20 bill. The event caused severe trauma and pain for his family as well as for our community and the nation. It raised, once and for all, important issues regarding racial and social injustices that have so long been engrained in the fabric of our nation.

Today, we learned that a jury of his peers found Derek Chauvin, the police officer most responsible for his death, guilty of murder. We join others throughout our nation in expressing our relief that justice has been served. I am optimistic that this decision might represent a change, where we, as Americans, can move toward a more equitable and just country, and overcome the pain and trauma that has for too long created an environment characterized by systemic racism and social injustice that is too-often prevalent in policing. We have much to do to heal the nation, no matter where you stand on today’s verdict.

The murder of George Floyd last spring made all of us more aware of our nation’s troubled history of killing people of color disproportionately and at the time I acknowledged the names of the men and women whose lives had ended as a result of such violence. That list included Stephon Clark, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Duante Wright and too many more.

I also spoke out on the hate crimes and violence directed toward Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander people and promised action. Since then, people across campus, including members of my leadership team, have developed and implemented workshops, initiatives, and task forces to address the issues on the Central campus and in the community and promote various anti-racism efforts.

For those in our Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) community, Central Washington University remains firmly committed to influencing change and promoting action. I will continue to speak out and urge people to stand together, seek support, and move forward in the fight for social justice. CWU’s mission and values of belonging are reflected in the compassion and empathy of those in our community. There are resources available for those who are struggling and I urge you to reach out. If you are a student in need of resources contact the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, the Diversity and Equity Center, and, if you are faculty or staff, contact HR for resources that are available.

It remains imperative that we continue to work together to seek solutions that will allow us to challenge and change our assumptions about each other and move forward as a community and as a nation.


Kandee Cleary
VP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

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