As the BYU College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences (FHSS), we join with President Worthen in expressing our deep sadness and indignation in response to continued acts of racial violence toward black Americans, such as the tragic murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.
As a college of social sciences, we are uniquely responsible to educate ourselves and others on ways to identify and eradicate racist attitudes, behaviors, policies, and structures in order to improve the campus culture as we prepare our students to be thoughtful and principled citizens of the global community. We acknowledge our need and desire to improve—and express our resolute commitment to continue anti-racist efforts in our college. One example of this is the FHSS Diversity, Collaboration, and Inclusion committee that is working with a group of BYU faculty and students on a variety of initiatives that support our goal to nurture a Zion community—grounded in unity, mutual respect, and charity toward all. We strive for an environment where students, faculty, staff, and visitors are safe, included, respected, and welcome. As we move forward, knowing there is much to be done, we pray for guidance in these efforts and express gratitude for each of you who are working to “build bridges of understanding rather than creating walls of segregation” (President Russell M. Nelson, 2020).