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Our Work Ahead

Apr 21, 2021   |   by Dean Alexis Abramson

As President Hanlon iterated in his message to the Dartmouth community last night, the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd serves as another resounding call to action for our community. We are at an important inflection point, an opportunity to upend racism as well as systems and practices that led us here.

No words can fully capture the grief, trauma, and pain that our Black friends, classmates, family, and colleagues continue to endure. Over the past few weeks, as we listened to testimonies of the devastating final minutes of George Floyd’s life, Daunte Wright, another young Black man, was shot and killed by police during a traffic stop. While the verdict is a necessary step forward, achieved through the perseverance and tireless work of Black activists and allies throughout generations, we still have much work ahead to achieve true justice and equity.

As engineers, we face a particularly pivotal call. Engineering is not simply about problem-solving, but about improving the world in which we live. As human-centered engineers, we are uniquely equipped for this challenge. While we may begin with empathy and compassion for human need, we know that true change happens with our willingness to fully see problems from the perspectives of the people at the center. Transformation occurs when we work collectively in partnership with the communities whose lives we are committed to improving. And as engineers, we know that when we continue to fail at fully addressing the problem, particularly one that has persisted for far too long, we must try new, different, and better approaches until we do.

"This means that at Thayer and beyond, we must all commit to doing the critical work of dismantling systemic racism, be willing to examine our own biases with honesty, to change and adapt our current practice, and to work deliberately and intentionally towards becoming a truly anti-racist place for all members of our community."

Dean Alexis Abramson

Today and in the coming days, Dartmouth will provide opportunities for us to gather, reflect, and move forward together, including a community-wide discussion specifically about the trial. In addition, I wanted to be sure our community is aware of the health and wellness resources for all members of our community. You will find information and links below.

Please take care of yourselves and be a source of support for one another.

Panels & Discussions

The Chauvin Verdict: A Community Discussion on Race, Crime & Justice
Date and time TBD
To help us make sense of this moment, Professor Bruce Duthu will lead a panel with professors Susan Brison, Matt Delmont, and Deborah King. Please be on the lookout for more information soon to be announced in Vox Daily and your emails.

So You Want to Talk About Race: An Evening In Conversation with Ijeoma Oluo
Wednesday, May 5, 7:30–8:30pm (EDT)
An evening of honest conversation with bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo on her book "So You Want to Talk About Race," which offers a hard-hitting but accessible examination of race in America.

Virtual Community Spaces

Community Space with Dartmouth Counseling Center (all students)
Wednesday, April 21, 12:00–1:00pm (EDT)
ZOOM LINK / Meeting ID: 928 1569 7037 / Passcode: 817187

Community Space with Dartmouth Counseling Center (graduate students)
Thursday, April 22, 5:00–6:00pm (EDT)
ZOOM LINK / Meeting ID: 928 1569 7037 / Passcode: 817187

Health, Safety & Wellbeing Resources

For contacts and other media information visit our Media Resources page.