In recent weeks, we have seen the unraveling of pent up anger and frustration felt within the Black community that has been created over generations. The waves of shock, outrage and overwhelming sadness that came from the horrific video of the killing of George Floyd has shaken us to our core.
We acknowledge the pain and trauma our Black students, colleagues, alumni and friends are currently feeling. We realize that the deck was stacked against you based on the color of your skin and that systemic racism, discrimination and oppression is real and not just a relic from the past. In addition to the recent deaths of unarmed Black men and women, the coronavirus crisis has shed a blinding light on health disparities and how it has exceedingly affected people of color. The crushing pain of reality is that we have much, much farther to go on the path to justice for marginalized communities.
The UF Department of Physical Therapy whole-heartedly condemns bigotry and hate against people of color, as well as others, regardless of gender, ethnicity, nationality, faith or sexual orientation. Collectively we pledge to advocate compassion, empathy, justice and equality. We promise to have uncomfortable conversations, to educate ourselves, and to listen and hear the Black voices in our community. In the coming weeks, we will meet with faculty, staff and students to learn how we can do better. There is no place for racism or bigotry in our community.
We join the Gator Nation in the demand for justice and promise to work collectively toward positive change.
-Dr. Krista Vandenborne