Dear Rackham Students,
As we near the end of a challenging academic year, we have endured an exceptionally difficult week. The killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer during a traffic stop just outside Minneapolis last Sunday, along with the released footage of Adam Toledo’s fatal shooting by an officer in Chicago, have reemphasized the prevalence of violence against Black people and all people of color at the hands of police. I know that so many of us in the Rackham community are also feeling anger and distress as we follow the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. And we have learned of new shooting deaths in Indianapolis, while we continue to experience pain over those in Boulder and Atlanta, the latter driven by xenophobia and misogyny.
While we await a verdict in Chauvin’s trial, I ask that we as a community recognize the toll of these events, and that we support each other however possible in the days to come. For those seeking avenues for advocacy, action, and allyship, I remind you of our page of anti-racism resources, which have been assembled from partners across campus and elsewhere. I also would like to note that the Advancing Public Safety at the University of Michigan Task Force will share preliminary recommendations and ask for input at its community forum next Wednesday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m.
I realize that other pressures are present at this time. Our state is experiencing its worst surge in COVID-19 cases, and this week we were required to navigate a shift from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine. In ways we know all too well and in others that remain unpredictable, the pandemic is still a constant in our personal and professional lives. Added to that are the significant demands that come with the close of any academic year. With all of this in mind, I urge you to pay close attention to your personal well-being; I would like to reiterate the resources available to support you:
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers several options for support, which include tele-counseling, crisis support, and virtual outreach.
- From Monday, April 19, to Friday, April 23, CAPS is hosting a Virtual Wellness Week, with daily wellness workshops.
- CAPS also has an embedded staff member, Dr. Laura Monschau, dedicated to working specifically with graduate students.
- The Rackham Resolution Office provides a safe and confidential environment to discuss concerns. Students can request a meeting using this form.
- In addition, the Resolution Office holds open office hours weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. via Zoom. Details are available on the Rackham events calendar.
The Rackham community has displayed remarkable resilience during this trying year. The potential challenges of the next days and weeks will once again call upon our spirit of compassion, empathy, and mutual support.