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A Message from Penn Vet's Dean


– An Important Message from Penn Vet’s Dean Andrew Hoffman –
Saturday, June 6, 2020

We are suffering as a nation, and as a community, over the shocking and unsettling death of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd’s passing echoes the ongoing senseless pattern of assault and death of those before him: Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Mr. Botham Jean, and Mr. Eric Garner.

It has taken some time to more fully grapple the gravity of the events that have transpired in the last eleven days. Our first priority was to turn inward to focus on - listening, supporting, and caring for – those members of our Penn Vet community who are hurting, anguished, and grief-stricken. This time has also enabled us, together as a community, to reflect on the broader theme and open wounds that are visible at this very dark moment in our nation’s history: the failure of our criminal justice system, of our America, to commit fully to addressing systemic racism. 

I want to be clear, we at Penn Vet, do not - we will not - tolerate racism, violence, or inequity against communities of color, communities of orientation, communities of gender, or communities of faith. We will not, period. 

I shared these sentiments in a message to our community of students, faculty, and staff on Sunday, May 31, 2020; again, in a special video message on Thursday, June 4, 2020; and I will iterate them again here.

What is most important to me, however, is not the words that I say or write but instead the definitive action that we, as an institution, are committed to taking to improve diversity, inclusivity, equity, and climate in our community. We can start by strengthening and operationalizing our current activities. But, we need to do more. I have an open ear to everybody and anybody in the Penn Vet community who has ideas, suggestions, or recommendations on what needs to be accomplished.

Like the pandemic, the recent racial injustices feel like a turning point, where nothing will be the same. It is my deepest hope, for all communities of color, that we will see real change for the better this time. And for us here at Penn Vet, we are committed to do our part to make that happen. 

Take care of yourselves, and please take care of one another.

With gratitude, 

Dean Andy Hoffman