Social Injustices and Unrest

A Letter from Bastyr University's Associate Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Kortet Mensah, PhD

Hello Bastyr Community,

It’s with a sad and heavy heart that I write this to you.

No doubt, many of us are tired, frustrated, 被UC8体育首页社会中各种形式的持续压迫,也就是对非洲裔美国人/非洲后裔的种族主义所压倒. As President Patterson indicated in his campus message, 这些问题对于有色人种群体,特别是非洲裔美国人/非洲后裔来说,已经持续了400多年. Yes, 400 years. Let that sink in.

Please know that building on the works of social justice activists, UC8体育首页的大学正在以战略和可持续的方式努力,尽UC8体育首页的一份力量,真正成为一个促进多样性的社区, equity, inclusion. As has been shared in other communications, this work includes our first:

  • (In-house) DEI Trainings commenced during Fall 2019
  • DEI Commitment included in all syllabi
  • DEI metrics/goals supported by the Board of Trustees and Senior Leadership
  • Inclusive recruitment practices (being developed and piloted)
  • DEI Conversation Series beginning Spring 2020

These are just a few of the institutional-level efforts being enacted. As discussed in the DEI trainings, our tasks in “Unmasking Oppression” as the DEI Theme calls for, is to address all levels of oppression. These levels are:

  • 个人压迫:个人的信仰、态度和行为使压迫持续存在.
  • 制度压迫:制度政策和实践延续压迫的方式.
  • Systemic Oppression: how the major systems in our lives—economy, politics, education, criminal justice, health, etc.—perpetuate oppression.
  • Structural Oppression: how individuals, institutions, and systems reinforce one another in ways that perpetuate oppression.

虽然大学不能给你解决系统性和结构性压迫的方向, for that is outside the University’s purview, we ask that you positively engage with the DEI institutional efforts. 注意到大学努力的目的是提高UC8体育首页的集体能力(机构的和个人的),以完成拆除各种压迫所需要的艰苦工作, 最近(但反复出现)的例子集中体现了制度性和系统性的种族主义.

请了解,大学领导层致力于做好个人和机构所需的工作. For instance, for individual efforts, 最近,几位高级领导人与DEI的主要伙伴(e)共同推动和参加了为期3周的DEI对话系列(鉴于大流行病和最近的社会不公正现象,侧重于自我和社区护理).g., AVPDEI Mensah, VP Weider, AVP Newman, President Patterson, Provost Rule, Professor Elson-Schwab, Professor Achterman, Senior Administrator Harding, Director Herbison). Thanks to the campus members (staff, faculty and students from all locations) who participated in the series. Similarly, ALANA计划在本周举行会议,以支持有色人种学生,他们无疑在这个充满挑战的时期被加倍征税.

We invite you to engage and support each other in empathetic, 富有同情心和支持性的对话来实现DEI主题的后一部分:将人性带入对话. This is the time for us to live out our DEI commitment, theme and mission. However, please avoid engaging in organized conversations (via class discussions, co-curricular events, etc.) that are not coordinated with the University’s DEI leadership. 这样做将有助于UC8体育首页避免潜在地重建模仿2016年事件的学习空间(对于UC8体育首页这些在这里的人来说),该事件导致校园内的种族不和谐,因为社区成员发起的对话需要更多的技能/能力,而不是他们必须处理此类对话. We're working hard to move our University past that, please join us in doing so.

Though some community members may feel that more should be done, please remember the 400-years statistic as well as Bastyr’s 40-year history of DEI firsts. It is in our 40th year that we’ve made more institutional movement than the past. Please be mindful that intentional DEI efforts take time, especially those that are designed to be sustainable and long-lasting. Let’s resist the urge to champion for one-off efforts. As the current social unrest indicates, UC8体育首页需要由个人努力(不是直接反对)支持的结构化的机构努力。. This is how we as a community (at Bastyr) can move forward.


With a broken yet hopeful heart, I call you into doing this work collaboratively.

Kortet Mensah, PhD

A Letter from Bastyr University President, Harlan Patterson

Dear Bastyr Community,

UC8体育的使命是:UC8体育首页在自然、健康、艺术和科学方面培养未来的领导者. Respecting the healing power of nature and recognizing that body, mind, and spirit are intrinsically inseparable, we model an integrated approach to education, research, and clinical service.

Right now, this mission seems more meaningful and relevant to our futures than ever.  In addition to being a university president, I am also a father and grandfather. I'm a family member with the normal struggles and the multiple joys of just living.  At the same time, I am fully aware that our police and justice systems are deeply infected with racism.  I grew up with respect and appreciation for our police.  后来我才明白,我所承受的负担与UC8体育首页的有色人种社区(尤其是非洲裔美国人/非洲后裔)不同,他们必须学会与警察打交道,以增加他们在遭遇后的生存机会.   造成这种差异的种族主义必须通过不断改善的挑战而被铲除.  作为一个社会,UC8体育首页必须追究那些滥用职权的人的责任.

We are all going through so much at this time. It often seems unbelievable and unfair and discouraging. We see friends and family struggling, trying to stay well, and some do not survive. Many of our community are alone, without family nearby. There is persistent anxiety over whether we will be ill, whether we will have resources, and whether things will ever be normal again.  And, as if COVID and those difficulties are not enough, UC8体育首页也再次直面邪恶的种族主义和对黑人男女的毁灭性偏见. Another black citizen, George Floyd, 他的生命是否被那些被召唤为UC8体育首页的公民服务的人有针对性的特定暴力所夺走.  最近几周,UC8体育首页哀悼类似事件夺去了Ahmaud Arbery和Breonna Taylor的生命, amongst others.  As a nation, we are not loving each other. It does not seem that we are looking for ways to connect.  We must do better.

I do not have all of the answers. I do not know what our nation needs to bring us together. I do not always know what to say or how to take action. My continued response is to stay informed, to check my own actions and communications, to be a resource, and to take a stand as an anti-racist. UC8体育的董事会已经明确表示,他们希望学校继续采取积极的立场,减少偏见,促进多样性, equity, and inclusion through every aspect of Bastyr. It is our privilege to be led in this work by Kortet Mensah, PhD, our Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. We are not anywhere close to being done, but we have begun proactively changing our approach to equity.  I am proud of what the university community has achieved thus far. Our last series of DEI conversations, 旨在讨论针对大流行病和最近的社会动荡的自我和社区护理, was filled (with waitlists) as soon as registration opened. The response by the university community is moving in the right direction, but we still have significant work ahead. 

My heart is broken up by what I see in the media regarding the tragic death of Mr. Floyd. My heart is saddened by the grief and anger that drives our community members to protest. 更让我心碎的是,有些团体似乎抓住了和平抗议的机会,并造成了抗议领导人意想不到的破坏. As is often the case, the violence of a small number of people overwhelms the public comment and images.  Which violence is worse is the question?  The answer is that all violence is wrong.  UC8体育首页不能让围绕抗议活动的暴力分散UC8体育首页对UC8体育首页司法系统中种族主义信仰和行动的真正挑战的注意力.

作为世界领先的学术中心,促进和整合自然、健康、艺术和科学的知识, Bastyr University will transform the health and well-being of the human community.  只有在UC8体育首页能够从UC8体育首页的社区系统中消除种族主义之后,社区卫生才能真正实现.

We are all in a challenging time, and for many of our community, this is not something new. Each day, they face challenges their white counterparts do not. I encourage everyone to continue hearing each other and learning from each other. Be a resource to others at Bastyr and beyond. And, consider with it means to be biased. 了解如何在UC8体育首页的种族主义行为和无意的想法和行动中对自己和其他人保持透明. 只有这样做,UC8体育首页才能共同实现改变人类社会健康和福祉的共同愿望.

We have been working together on improving our DEI climate and are making progress.  Dr. Mensah will be sending out communication with an update on our efforts and accomplishments.  We are making progress and yet have a great deal of work to do.  

In the near term, we do have resources available.  联系一下你的同事和朋友,看看他们近况如何,是否需要什么.  我希望这周你能花点时间照顾自己,向可能正在遭受痛苦的朋友伸出援手. I encourage us all to continue doing our part – whether as a student, a staff member, 或者是一名教师——丰富UC8体育首页的共同经验,因为UC8体育首页正在努力培养能够改变人类福祉的领导人.  As a part of our on-going efforts to support our community, we have just completed a 3-week series relating to self-care in this stressful time.  ALANA meetings for our students of color are occurring this week as well.  For our faculty and staff, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has counselors available 24/7 for support; information available at this link.


Humbly, and desirous of change,

Harlan Patterson