Dear Temple Ambler students, alumni, family and friends,
We are living in an unprecedented time in our country’s history. The past few weeks have shined a glaring light on the systemic racism and social injustice that people of color, particularly African Americans, face every day. George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor are among the most recent tragedies in a system of racial injustice and inequity that has existed for centuries.
As President Englert stated in his message to the Temple community, “We are appalled by what we have seen, and remain committed to work for racial justice.” It is important to come together as a campus community with empathy, with a shared commitment to learn, grow, and be part of the change. Temple Ambler has taken up that challenge to both stand up to racial oppression and look inward to identify the ways in which our own practices do not support racial equity.
Temple Ambler is known as the 'Green Campus' for its programs in sustainability and the environment and for its research to understand, protect and preserve the planet. Intersectional environmentalism identifies the interconnectedness of injustices to marginalized and vulnerable communities and to the earth. Our work as environmental champions must be inclusive and it must advocate for the protection of both people and planet.
As part of Temple’s University College, many staff at Temple Ambler have joined the newly formed Inclusion, Diversity, Equity Action (UC-IDEA) Committee. The UC-IDEA committee seeks to unravel, disband, and shine a light on systemic racism and inequities first by fostering a culture of social sharing that acknowledges and values difference and recognizes that there is discomfort in these discussions.
The UC-IDEA committee will then lead our efforts to identify areas within the University College where we can improve, as well as find other areas that we can partner with and influence. They will also recommend action steps and markers to assess our progress. Although this committee will take the lead, they will not be working alone: each unit and program director is being asked to determine how to best incorporate diversity and equity goals and practices into their unit’s work as part of their performance development plan.
Ambler is a community of educators, researchers, students, lifelong learners, alumni, neighbors and friends. We are unwavering in our commitment to a safe and inclusive environment—on campus and in our communities. We are grateful for you as a member of the Temple Ambler family. We hope you will join us in being a part of the change that will make our communities safer, our societal systems more just, and opportunities for success more equitable.
Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Ed.D.
Vice Provost, University College
Interim Director, Ambler Campus