This has been a very tough week for our country, at the end of an unprecedented three months, as we witnessed the horrible and senseless killing of George Floyd, and the protests and the violence in its aftermath. My heart breaks for the pain and suffering of those who have lost loved ones from COVID-19, from violence, and from the effects of racism, bigotry, intolerance, and hatred. Many of our students, staff, and faculty have been deeply and personally affected by these events. We are a community, and we must support each other.
This week we have heard from IU President Michael McRobbie, IUPUI Chancellor Nasser Paydar, and IU Vice President James C. Winbush about our institution’s commitment to diversity and to building an inclusive community (https://news.iu.edu/stories/2020/06/iu/01-leader-statements-on-diversity.html). As dean of the Indiana University School of Dentistry, I echo their messages. I also call on all members of our school community to re-state our commitment to diversity as an essential and core value of our great institution. We are committed to creating and sustaining an inclusive environment for everyone, where all can achieve their full potential. We stand ready to promote equity, including health equity, for members of our community, for the patients we serve, and for the people of Indiana who we have not yet had the opportunity to serve. We will promote policies that provide opportunities for dental education to underrepresented and marginalized groups, and access to oral health care for under-served people. Service to the common good, for all people, is core to our purpose as health professionals.
We stand with you, our fellow students, faculty and staff, who are hurting. And we are here to support you. We care, you belong, and you are valued. Most important, we are here to listen, to learn and to be better allies to you in our fight for social justice. There is no room here for hatred, racism, sexism, bigotry and discrimination. Only room for love, acceptance, truth and justice. We have to stand up for what is right.
If the past three months have taught us anything, hopefully, it is that we are all in this together as members of the human family, and the sooner we accept and embrace this, the better world this will be. Let us be the change we want to see in the world.
In the next few weeks will be creating opportunities for our community to come together to share, listen, and support one another.
Dr. Carol Anne Murdoch-Kinch
Dean, Indiana University School of Dentistry