Dear Carolina Community,
I am pleased to invite our students, faculty and staff to join us Jan. 28 at the Summit on Safety and Belonging, organized in collaboration with the Campus Safety Commission to provide our community with an update and opportunity to learn more about their vital work.
The summit will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. in room G100 of the Genome Sciences Building. Please respond at this link to let us know if you can attend.
I announced the creation of the commission last spring and asked its members to take a broad look at all aspects of campus safety when developing recommendations about the needs of our diverse campus community. Commission members have been working tirelessly since last May, holding multiple listening sessions to hear directly about your concerns and evaluating current processes and procedures. We are now at a moment to have a broader conversation about this important topic.
The moderator for the summit will be Deena Hayes-Greene, a nationally recognized leader in the field of racial equity whose expertise includes the impacts of race and racism on systems, institutions and individuals. Hayes-Greene is co-founder and managing director of the Racial Equity Institute LLC, a minority-owned business in Greensboro that brings racial equity training and consultation to communities, organizations and institutions across the United States.
Commission co-chairs Frank Baumgartner and DeVetta Holman will join a panel at the summit that includes student, faculty and staff commission members. Panelists will present feedback from the listening sessions. Audience members will have an opportunity to submit additional questions or concerns about the climate and culture around campus safety, including how we can improve equity and inclusion at Carolina.
The Campus Safety Commission’s work is important as our University addresses challenges and becomes a stronger, more welcoming community. We want everyone to know they belong and for each of us to foster an environment of inclusive excellence. For that reason, I have included the commission among the initial initiatives benefiting from Carolina’s newly announced $5 million Build Our Community Fund. I firmly believe we can build trust by acknowledging past injustices, analyzing where we are in the present and developing tangible solutions for the future.
Making our campus safer and more secure for students, faculty, staff and visitors is among our University’s most important priorities. Members of the Campus Safety Commission are performing an invaluable service for our community, and I am grateful to Drs. Baumgartner and Holman, and the students, faculty, staff and local community members who have dedicated their time and shared their perspectives to support these efforts.
I look forward to the conversation at the summit on Jan. 28 and hope to see you there.
Kevin M. Guskiewicz