In Solidarity and Strength: A Letter to the DU Community from Community + Values

Dear DU Community,

We are exhausted. We are angry. Our hearts ache and mourn for those in our community who are hurting right now.

Over these past few weeks, we have witnessed the continued violence against Black people with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery, and we refuse to stand by in silence or passivity and let this systemic violence and crimes against Black people and their lives continue to happen. To the Black community members among us, we affirm our insistence that all of us must stand together in compassion for the pain and hurt that festers, and in the necessary fight to reverse this deeply ingrained pattern of violence against Black people. Black lives matter. We understand that the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities at DU continue to bear the sadness, anger, and frustration in the face of the countless racial injustices that take place in our country. We want to emphasize that as this continues to happen, we all know that the hurt is particularly intense for the direct victims of the violence and dehumanization. Yet every one of us must commit to compassion and deep love for one another. We all must work together to right this injustice. None of us can stand on the sidelines.

Community + Values exists to support our community and to boldly and unequivocally assert our values by openly stating what we stand for and why – and what we stand against -- with transparency and honesty. We reassert, in the strongest terms, our continued stance against institutional racism, violence, bias, hate, and injustice. We will not stand silently or passively in the face of the continued harm inflicted against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our DU community and beyond. On this commitment, we are unified and unwavering. We know that DU is not a perfect institution and people in the DU community have been hurt, even by those within our DU community itself; we recognize that there is much more that we can do, and through our work, we promise to take action. We understand that this work will not be easy and will take long-term dedication to effectively address, but we know that there are changes that absolutely must be made to ensure that all can feel safe with a sense of belonging at DU and in our larger and interconnected world.

Through our continued events, programming, and initiatives, we will amplify the diverse experiences and stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in our community, and we will actively pursue changes at our institution that will ensure our policies, practices, and values serve all of our community members.

C+V believes firmly in taking action, and included below, you’ll find a list of resources and some of the work and actions that C+V and other DU community members and departments are carrying out that directly addresses racial justice and resources for our DU community. We are open to your feedback, and we want you to be part of this work. Please visit us online or reach out directly to Senior Project Manager, Chase McNamee, at for more information.

In solidarity and strength,

Your C+V Steering Committee

Ann Ayers
Colorado Women’s College

Lea Cadieux
Associate Vice Chancellor
Division of Marketing & Communications

Dong Dinh
Graduate Student
Morgridge College of Education
C+V Graduate Fellow

Jeremy Haefner

Darrin Hicks
Past President, Faculty Senate
Professor, Department of Communication Studies

Ryan Hyde
President, Undergraduate Student Government

Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave
Director of Inclusive Teaching Practices
Office of Teaching and Learning

Anthea Johnson
Director for Equity STEM (E-STEM) Program
Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science

Arthur C. Jones
Professor Emeritus, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Interim Vice Chancellor, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Dilkush Khan
Graduate Student
Media Film and Journalism Studies
C+V Graduate Fellow

Scott Luetenegger
Professor; Director of Inclusive Excellence
Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

Chase McNamee
Senior Project Manager
Office of the Chancellor

Renea Morris
Vice Chancellor
Division of Marketing and Communications

Nancy Nicely
Senior Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff
Office of the Chancellor

Fatima Rezaie
Project Manager
Office of the Chancellor

Abigail Richards
Graduate Student
Josef Korbel School of International Studies
C+V Graduate Fellow

Shelly Smith-Acuña
Dean, Professor
Graduate School of Professional Psychology

Billy J. Stratton
Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of English
Special Advisor on Native American Partnerships and Programs

Tamara Tabb
Conference & Events

Kate Willink
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Office of the Provost

Hope Wisneski
Chief of Staff, Associate Dean for Operations
Graduate School of Social Work


  • Watch the June 4 C+V Community Talk webinar: Racial Justice: How We Show Up for Each Other and look through the resources from the panelists. *Webinar video will be posted on week of 6/8 
  • On June 4, 2020, the new Inclusive Teaching Practices site launched. This work is led by Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave, Director for Inclusive Teaching Practices in the Office of Teaching and Learning (OTL) and Co-Lead of the Community+Values; and Dong Dinh, Community + Values Graduate Fellow. Visit here to learn more.
  • Read Responding to Trauma in the Classroom, penned by Dr. Valentina Iturbe-LaGrave
  • Visit the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (ODEI) website for a variety of events, resources, action steps, and more
  • Visit the Inclusive and Equity Education website for upcoming events, resources, action steps, and more