Penn Global Statement on Institutional Racism

June 11, 2020
By Penn Global Leadership

The police killing of George Floyd and the events that have unfolded in recent weeks since have reminded us, once again, of the deep structural and institutional racism and inequities that have existed – and remain embedded – in the United States since its inception.

Penn Global is dedicated to diversity and inclusion, both are at the core of our mission. As a result, over the past few years, we have been shaken by the increasing hostility to non-citizens.  Over the last few weeks, we have been shaken again as we come face to face with the racism against all minority communities in America, and, in particular, against Black Americans. As we grieve the Black lives cut short by police and vigilante brutality, we call for justice, accountability, and reform.  We also reaffirm our personal and professional commitment to America's, Penn Global's and our personal core values of equality, justice, respect, inclusion, multiculturalism, and humility.

As the United States would be nothing without the contributions of Black Americans, the Penn community would be nothing without the contributions of its Black students and scholars, who come from every corner of the world. We also recognize the struggle against racism around the world, as demonstrated by protests in Britain, Australia, Belgium, Mexico, and elsewhere. To all those standing up around the world, Penn Global stands with you in solidarity, in mourning, and in your demands for a more just life.

Penn Global remains committed to bringing the world to Penn and Penn to the world.  In doing so, we promote intercultural understanding so that all members of our University family, regardless of origin, race, nationality, gender expression, religion, sex, or sexual orientation feel safe, respected, valued, and loved. That is at the core of our mission—and always will be.

With the pain so raw and deep, now is a time of grieving, reflection, and healing.  Penn has long been committed to exposing and dismantling the injustices in our community and country.  Inspired, in part, by President Amy Gutmann's recent call “to do our part to help heal wounds, strengthen community, and create hope in our world," we also recognize that now is the time for concrete action. 

Penn Global fully supports the University’s collaborative initiatives to promote dialogue and action for progress.  In addition, Penn Global will take steps to make this institution, city, country, and world better and more just.  Among the actions we will focus on are initiatives to make the community safe for Asian and Asian-American students and scholars facing increased discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic, to provide greater access to global opportunities for students of color, and to promote research and awareness of global anti-Black policies and practices and how they can be eradicated. 

This is a moment and time to learn and to do better. We’ll do both.