Statement on Responding to Racial Violence

Friday, Jun 5, 2020

Dear Graduate Students,

We write to express our solidarity with all who have spoken so eloquently about the current crisis of violence against black lives in the U.S. We’re encouraged by the graduate student organizations, academic departments, and members of the Graduate Student Government (GSG) who have also issued statements of solidarity and support.  And we’re grateful for the many faculty and staff who have spoken and written about racism, white supremacy, and police violence.

For example, Professors Ruha Benjamin and Tracy K. Smith participated in the Family Day of Action, Kneeling for Justice, that brought thousands of community members to FitzRandolph Gate at Nassau and Witherspoon Streets this week.  We thank the students and community members who took the initiative to gather the Princeton community in such a visibly powerful way.

In these emotionally trying times, please remember the campus support systems that continue to be available to you.  Reach out and connect with your peers, advisers, and staff in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School.  The staff at the Carl A. Fields, Women*s and LGBT Centers, the Office of Religious Life, the Pace Center, and all of Campus Life are also ready to support you.  And, importantly, Counseling and Psychological Services (CPS) is always available to help.

To support graduate students during this time, the Graduate School’s Access, Diversity and Inclusion Deans, in partnership with CPS and the GSG, will be providing the following virtual spaces for students to come together to share feelings of loss, anger, frustration, sadness, and confusion in hopes of grieving and healing together as a community. The following listening circles are scheduled for today and Monday:

  • Listening Circle for Chinese International Graduate Students 

        Date: Friday 6/5/20 @ 10 am (link is external)

  • Listening Circle for Black Graduate Students 

        Date: Friday 6/5/20 at 5:00 pm (link is external)

  • Listening Circle for Graduate Students of Color 

        Date: Monday 6/8/20 at 5:00 pm (link is external)

  • Listening Circle for All Graduate Students 

        Date: Monday 6/8/20 at 6:30 pm (link is external)
Register for one or more listening circle(s) here: (link is external).  Please contact Sue Kim at (link sends e-mail) with any questions.
As we continue to move from thoughts to actions, we look forward to ever more dynamic engagement with and from the University community.  Many events at which we can at least virtually gather are being shared on listservs and calendars, such as the virtual offerings  (link is external)listed on the Office of Wintersession and Campus Events. 
While programs and support are important, we want to acknowledge that only systemic and far-reaching structural change will finally eradicate racism and all of its tragic manifestations.  Princeton has an important role to play in this work.  We must find ways that Princeton, through its teaching and research missions, can help confront this moment.  At President Eisgruber’s request, we are working now with faculty and staff to pull together intellectual, academic, and other resources to plan for Princeton-specific action.  We’d be pleased to hear your ideas at (link sends e-mail)
Rochelle Calhoun, Vice President for Campus Life
Renita Miller, Associate Dean for Access, Diversity, and Inclusion
Cole M. Crittenden, Deputy Dean and Acting Dean of the Graduate School

-June 5, 2020-