A message from the Dean on Black Lives Matter

Dear CASE Family, 

As the largest college at one of the biggest universities in the United States, we have an obligation to work toward solutions for the urgent challenges we face as a society. The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have thrown into sharp relief the obstacles and institutionalized racism that have affected Black communities for hundreds of years.

Black Lives Matter. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the importance of declaring that statement and the role our college can and should play in advancing this fundamental truth. I do not pretend to have all or even most of the answers, but I do know that words alone are inadequate as long as the safety and lives of Black Americans are at stake.  To effect meaningful change, we must participate in discussions that are uncomfortable at times and even challenging. As dean of the College of Arts, Sciences & Education, I truly believe that working together, we can do more. We must do more. As a college, we not only support FIU’s initiatives to increase diversity at the university, but will play an integral role as these efforts progress. We, as a college, are committed to leading efforts that recognize and affirm Black people’s humanity — efforts that make a real, lasting and sustainable difference.

I invite you to join me this week for Black Humanity Matters: A Teach-In on the Crisis of Race in America, an event organized by The Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment, with the support of African & African Diaspora Studies, Office to Advance Women, Equity, and Diversity, the Department of English, and CASE. 

The teach-in is designed to amplify the voices of those fighting for change while creating a forum for others to listen and learn. Join scholars from FIU, NYU, Wheaton College, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the Peabody Institute and the NFL’s Ryan Russell for a discussion that we all need to have. It will begin at 4 p.m., Thursday on Zoom and Facebook. Click the above link for more details.

You might have heard me talk before about creating an inspiring future. That future must be inspiring for all. Equally. Please join us Thursday.

Mike Heithaus,
Dean, FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education