Dear Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, and Friends of the UGA Engineering Community:
The tragic and senseless death of George Floyd sickens me. Mr. Floyd’s death and the details emerging in the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor are searing reminders of injustices that occur on a daily basis to Black people in our country. These injustices have no place in our society, and are painful reminders that our nation has a long journey ahead to fulfill its promise of justice and equality to all – especially those in the Black community.
To the Black students, alumni, faculty and staff of our UGA engineering community, I cannot fully comprehend your pain, but I grieve with you. I grieve with you as members of your community die needlessly simply for jogging, or being in their apartment, or at the hands of people that should be protecting them. It is important to affirm what is right and just in our society, and I stand with everyone calling for justice to be served in these tragic deaths. I utterly reject racism in all of its forms. Equally important to doing right in this moment is to commit each and every day to working personally and professionally towards diversity, equity, and inclusion in our society and in our college. You have my commitment as a faculty member, dean, and citizen.
Donald J. Leo
Dean and UGA Foundation Professor in Engineering