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Department Head's Anti-Racism Message

Dear Chemistry Community,

Dr. Hrycyna

The events of the past few weeks surrounding the senseless, tragic and horrific deaths of black people in our country have left me broken-hearted, angry and appalled.  I apologize if this communication seems to come late but it has taken me time to digest all that transpired and compose a meaningful message.  As a white person, there is no way that I could ever be able to understand the experiences that the black members of our community have or the anguish and anxiety that you endure, but I do feel your pain deeply. 

Black lives matter, period. There is no equivocation from me nor the Department on this point. Please know that I, as the leader of the department, have a deep and abiding commitment to the black members of our community and want you to know that you are valued, seen and heard. I have been contacted by students and please know that I hear your anguish and I hear your pain. These messages do not fall lightly on me nor will they be fleeting. 

As a leader for diversity in the College of Science over the past years, Chemistry has made strides in increasing the representation of black and brown people in the Department, but it is not nearly enough.  Be assured that the Department will be looking at all aspects of itself to ensure that racism will have no place. 

As a first step, I am charging the Diversity Transformation team led by Professor Jean Chmielewski with creating a task force to identify issues facing our black and brown students, postdocs, staff and faculty and to come up with concrete ways to address these issues and affect lasting change. 


Christine A. Hrycyna
Department Head
150th Anniversary Professor

Link to video message

Watch Dr. Hrycyna's anti-racism message (YouTube - 6:29)