by Diversity Council
During this global pandemic, we must continue to value diversity, equity and an inclusive community. We’ve all seen the disparate effects of the disease itself and the stay-at-home policy response in our lives and our communities. The disease has disproportionately taken the lives of people of color, the elderly, and those with pre-existing health conditions. The work-from-home period eliminated child and elder care, placing additional care burdens on faculty and staff with care responsibilities, reducing their professional productivity. The disease has emboldened discriminatory actions targeting immigrants and foreign workers, as well as their descendants. Many students have struggled to finish their schoolwork without the on-campus support systems on which they depend. Many in our Michigan Tech community, and their families, have faced economic hardship from job losses. This disease has caused a devastating effect on our economy on every level: our students, employees, the community and the world as a whole.
Now is not the time to push diversity, equity and inclusion work aside. Doing so will place us even further behind in our community-building efforts when the pandemic comes to an end (however and whenever that happens). Now is the time to exercise our compassion, realizing that we don’t always see the burdens that our colleagues, students and friends carry with them. It is also our time to place the safety and well-being of others at the forefront of our minds as we go forward.