Several days ago. I wrote to you to try to provide some comfort regarding the pandemic we are all experiencing. Many students, their families, faculty, and staff have contacted me to express their fears and questions regarding a return to campus and the fall semester. There are many unknowns, but the university is working with dedication to plan the safest return possible and information will be shared as it is confirmed.
At the end of that message, I wanted to open the door to communication with you regarding the deep unrest, racism, and hatred being expressed across our country. Since that time, I have heard from a number of you in personal messages and in group meetings. What is clear throughout is that we cannot continue this way as a society. Our hearts are touched by the cries of people of color and especially the black community, known and unknown to us. The sentiments they express have come down through generations, and we all must do all we can as individuals and as a country to see that they do not travel to future generations. Future generations must be the inheritors of love and peace rather than hatred and fear and that is our responsibility.
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A Special Note from Alyssa Carrasco
Fine Arts Student Liaison for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
I have had a hard time bringing myself to put into words my feelings about the injustices that we are witnessing. The disgust and shame I feel is directly due to the lack of respect that some people have for black and people of color. But right now, my heart aches for the black community. There is no way to sugar-coat it, this past week we have witnessed atrocious acts of racism and corruption in the United States. This racism has been going on for years now it just has a platform to be exposed.
Stereotyping, racial slurs, blackface, or any other form of racism is not accepted here in the College of Fine Arts. Let it also be known that silence is also discouraged. We are a family of growing artists that need to stand in support of our fellow black friends. Black students are fighting for equality as they grieve and reach for justice. I hope that educators can recognize the platform they have as being a huge influence on students of all backgrounds. I hope that students recognize that change must come within them, as they are not their parents’ or grandparents’ future, but they are their own future.
I hope that as artists we continue to tell stories that are giving the right messages of justice, equality and love. The College of Fine Arts is a home where black and people of color should always feel at home.
Suggestions and changes are being implemented to better the inclusion in the College of Fine Arts. Until then I am here if you need to talk or vent, I will listen and take your comments seriously. I wish you all safe during these times and encourage you to speak up against the injustices of the world.
Arts Management and Entrepreneurship Graduate Certificate
The Arts Management and Entrepreneurship (AME) Graduate Certificate is a program meant for students interested in building a career in the arts in an exciting but ever-changing marketplace. Learn more
Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund
The Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts offers the largest and most comprehensive fine arts program in the state of Oklahoma. We are immensely proud of our students, and ask that you join us in assisting them with a helping hand through the newly established Fine Arts Student Emergency Fund.