A Message from the Dean: “We need to match solidarity with action”

Dear SFTV Community,

I write in deeply troubled times.

I want to acknowledge the grief, hurt and understandable anger erupting in the wake of the brutal killing of George Floyd, the latest in a long line of similarly tragic events committed against African American citizens in this country.

The convergence of this latest tragedy with the loss of over 107,000 deaths to date in this country from COVID-19 – with a preponderance of those casualties occurring in our black and brown communities – has made it impossible to ignore the systemic racism deeply embedded in the history of our country. We have exploded in the past, we are exploding now. What we do next is of the utmost importance.

Racism is a kind of virus… and we can be the cure. The future of democracy is in the hands of young people, and as educators, we are in a unique position to guide, prepare, and empower the next generation to achieve the seemingly impossible. I am redoubling efforts to make sure that opportunities for an SFTV education are available to as wide and as diverse a group as possible and to support our faculty and staff in ensuring that our learning spaces are inclusive, safe, and welcoming.

Solidarity is important…and we need to match that with love, service, and right action. As Benjamin Crump, George Floyd’s lawyer, said, “I implore all of us to take a breath for justice, to take a breath for peace, to take a breath for our country and to take a breath for George.”

In fellowship,
Dean Peggy Rajski
School of Film and Television