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June 15, 2020 Faculty Senate Response

Faculty Senate Response to Current Events

June 15, 2020

For every student who walks across this campus, the faculty define the experience. It’s their expertise and dedication that makes Belmont exceptional. The Faculty Senate, which represents all Belmont faculty, wants to share a statement they wrote last week, committing to address racism and discrimination in our world and in the campus community.

On June 8, 2020, the Faculty Senate of Belmont University met for the first time since the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis became widely reported. As an elected body, the Senate wished to add our voices with other University leaders to unequivocally denounce racism and affirm the human dignity of every person, celebrating all racial and ethnic identities. On a more personal note, we wanted to say that we are grieving with our Black faculty, staff and students. And yet, we want to do more than denounce, and we want to do more than grieve. We know that we will show up imperfectly, but we want you to know we see you and we love you. 

We recognize that George Floyd is only the most recent example of the ways in which racist violence is manifested toward Black people and that systemic racism is part of a long history of injustice in the U.S. We also say the names of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and other men and women who have been killed at the hands of an unjust system. 

We confess that there are too many names we have not said out loud, collectively.

As faculty at Belmont, we all share a Christian faith. We believe God says there is to be no division among us. At the same time, we recognize the ongoing racism in the United States that is embedded in our systems, in our institutions, and also, within us. We recognize that to be silent is to be complicit. Our institutional mission is to engage and transform the world, and we believe this reconciliation work to address racism and violence should be a central part of it. 

Our faculty commits itself to addressing racism, prejudice, white supremacy, and discrimination. We affirm the need for consistent engagement to ensure that our curriculum, our policies and practices, and our institutional culture support the well-being of students, staff, and faculty who are Black, Indigenous, and all other People of Color. We stand united against racism and pledge to make this work a focus of the Faculty Senate this academic year.

Signed,

The Belmont Faculty Senate