Letter to Our Community

Dear UConn Engineering and Greater Engineering Diversity & Outreach Center Community,

All of us associated with the Engineering Diversity and Outreach Center (EDOC) are once again saddened by the continuing tragedies that happen to and confront the black community in America.  The senseless death of George Floyd at the hands of the very people that are employed to protect and defend all Americans is disgraceful, maddening, and heart breaking.  Recent history gives us evidence that many police departments, district attorneys, and even judges across the country are complicit in actions and policies that strip dignity, constitutional rights, as well as human rights from our fellow citizens.  For many Americans the justice system is broken, and it needs to be fixed.  We actively need to work on finding ways to (1) mobilize and raise awareness (2) actively participate in communicating with government officials and voting. As President Barack Obama said in his town hall, we have to do both. 

We welcome your communication concerning actions you may be involved in where we may be of help. We also welcome your thoughts and ideas about what you want to create for our community.  EDOC will serve the needs of the black community who are hurting and frustrated due to centuries of inequality and racism in America.  SoE students and our student organizations are invited to help organize and collaborate in direct action campaigns in which EDOC will offer its support.  

We are committed to doing our part in the call to action to listen, support, uplift and educate students in our engineering community.

At this time, EDOC is actively working on the following:

  1. Offering a space for our community to come together:
    1. Following George Floyd’s memorial on Tuesday, more details to come
  2. Initiating a meeting time to develop action items such as:
    1. A potential Social Media Campaign, for example:  Days of re-grounding and re-building in honor of the black people killed by police in 2020
    2. Organize a day and time to attend protests
    3. Signing petitions and writing a letter to government officials 
    4. Provide resources to students such as:
      1. Resources Curated by UConn Engineering Grad Students
    5. Helping students and the community register to vote
      1. https://www.vote.org/register-to-vote/  
  3. Facilitating educational discussions such as:
    1. Watch Party and Discussion for films such as When They See Us, 13th, etc.
    2. Book discussions (preferably using books purchased from blackowned bookstores like UConn and BRIDGE Alum Khamani Harrison’s keybookstore.com) such as Just Mercy, White Fragility, etc. 
    3. Anti-Racist Discussion Forums using literature such as Letter from a Birmingham Jail, and Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
  4. Restructuring curriculum for ENGR 3025 (Engineering for Impact), in conjunction with student professional organizations.
    1. Develop ways to unify and equally support each of our student organizations 
    2. Educate our leaders and organization members on anti-racist practices and culturally-conscious communication
  5. Creating Dean’s Advisory Boards, including:
    1. Black and Brown Students’ Equity and Inclusion
    2. Gender and Gender Identity Equity and Inclusion
    3. Health, Mental Health, and Wellness

We see you, we hear you, we feel you, and we care for you. 

Demanding for peace through change,

The EDOC staff and community (engr-edpsw@uconn.edu)

         Velda Alfred Abney (velda.alfred@uconn.edu)

         Esther Chang (esther.k.chang@uconn.edu)

         Kevin McLaughlin (kevin.j.mclaughlin@uconn.edu)

         Stephany Santos (stephany.santos@uconn.edu)


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