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A special message from the Moritz College of Law

June 8, 2020 | College

Dear fellow Moritzers,

We wrote last week to recognize the depth and breadth of pain, anger, and despair sparked most recently, but certainly not uniquely, by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and Ahmaud Arbery.

We are horrified and saddened by the loss of these and so many other Black lives in our nation. We acknowledge and understand that such violence is a symptom of a societal illness: systemic racism—racism that is not just a legacy of the past 400 years but that is present-day reality. We condemn, forcefully and unequivocally, racism of all forms and in all forums.

As was reflected in Thursday evening’s community dialogue, police misconduct, brutality, and the senseless killing of Black people are tragedies that affect not just society but also our Moritz community. We stand with and support the Black community. We do so with conviction—and a commitment to action.

Beginning this year, we will institute mandatory implicit bias training for all Moritz faculty and staff. We commit that last week’s community reflection and dialogue will mark the beginning of an ongoing series of formal programming and conversations around race, inequity, and society at the College of Law. And we pledge to continue to devote resources and our full energy to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice at Moritz. In the coming days and weeks, we will work with the College’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, the Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, the SBA, the Moritz student organizations that have so eloquently and forcefully called for change, and all other interested faculty, staff, students, and alumni in furtherance of this commitment.

We take this time also to remind everyone in our community of mental health and support resources available at Ohio State. These include, for students, access to our embedded counselor, Dr. Urbanczyk, as well as urgent care and triage counseling, and, for faculty and staff, the university employee assistance program. In addition to these resources, Deans Nealy and Northern continue to maintain an online open-door policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, and each of us welcomes conversations with any student, faculty, or staff member who may need support. We are here for you.

The tragedies of the day make plain that change is needed—and that we must all do this together.

As students and stewards of the law, we occupy a unique role in society, a role in which we are called to advocate for changes in law, policy, and practice that improve our world. As Buckeyes and members of the Moritz community, we bear responsibility to use the law for good, to promote social justice, and to inculcate values of understanding, open-mindedness, and empathy in every corner of our law school community. This requires a commitment by each of us to inform ourselves about the legacy of racial intolerance, to engage in real and honest, even if difficult, conversation, and to truly listen to our colleagues and fellow Moritzers.

This is a hallmark of what it means to be a Buckeye—to be there for each other.

In peace and with compassion,

Lincoln Davies, Dean
Laura Fernández-Álvarez, Assistant Dean for International and Graduate Affairs
Steve Huefner, Director of Clinical Programs
Linda Jones, Senior Director of Career Development
Amy Milbourne, Executive Director of Advancement
Darren Nealy, Assistant Dean for Students
Kathy Northern, Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Shantay Piazza, Communications Manager
Paul Rose, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Sara Sampson, Assistant Dean for Information Services & Communications
Elayne Siegfried, Associate Director, HR Business Partners
Michael States, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid
Dan Tokaji, Associate Dean for Faculty
Matt Yoder, Senior Fiscal Officer