Dear Wei LAB Colleagues, Friends, Followers, and Community Members:
As many of you are already aware, over the past weekend, hundreds of neo-Nazis and White supremacists gathered in Charlottesville for a “Unite the Right” rally. Prompted by the removal of a Confederate statue, hate groups carried torches and marched on University of Virginia’s campus, where they proceeded to spew messages of hate and incite violence while intimidating bystanders and counter protestors.
The torch lit march was followed by mounting injuries and a tragically violent death. The effects of these terrible acts have impacted us all. The Wei LAB is shocked and saddened by this display of blatant hate, and the aftermath of this incident. We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the young woman and state troopers who died and to all who were, or are still, experiencing physical, spiritual or psychological harm.
As a laboratory focused on equity and diversity, the Wei LAB knows that instances of hate, bias, and racism are nothing new. Sadly, this latest rally is a painful reminder of the deeper-rooted racial issues that are embedded throughout America’s past and continue to affect today’s society.
We wish to take this time to recommend several resources in light of this past weekend’s tragedy:
- UW Madison’s link to filing a discrimination complaint: https://compliance.wisc.edu/eo-complaint/
- UW Madison’s Hate/Bias reporting site: https://doso.students.wisc.edu/services/bias-reporting-process/
- A report from the Southern Poverty Law Center, on how best to respond when controversial speakers or groups come to campus.
- Another report from SPLC on fostering a community response to fighting hate
- A collection of resources for integrating social justice in curriculum, and
- The Developing Leaders to Support Diverse Learners curriculum models, developed by and for educational leadership preparation programs.
The violent incidents and displays of hate last weekend are reminders for all of us to reflect on our own deep-rooted beliefs and how our preconceptions might affect those around us. As a community that values equity and diversity, the Wei LAB will continue to use our research, teaching, and outreach opportunities to promote positive changes at both local and national levels. We hope that our colleagues, friends, and followers will join us as we make extra efforts right now to show sympathy, reach out to those affected by this incident, and challenge ourselves to become instruments of progress.