The trial of Derek Chauvin and the killings of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and Daunte Wright have once again opened painful societal wounds rooted in systemic racism.
The pain of violence impacts us in many ways and reminds us of the importance of supporting each other individually and collectively as we continue to advocate for change.
I want to take a moment to ask our students, faculty, and staff to please reach out for help if you are experiencing feelings of fear, hopelessness, anger, or despair. In these relentless times, we may be distanced, but as a Redbird community we do not have to be alone.
While it is prudent for leaders to call for calm, I must also call on our campus community to practice care. Care for one another. Care for ourselves.
Students, please take advantage of the resources available to you. Student Counseling Services (SCS) provides access to counselors with expertise in counseling and support for students with diverse identities. Appointments can be made by calling 309-438-3655. If calling after hours, remember to press 2 to be connected to a counselor immediately. The Multicultural Outreach Team (MCOT) of SCS supports students, faculty, and staff by providing resources and educational programming that focuses on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
In addition, the Steve Fund has a crisis text line with counselors who specialize in crises facing students of color. Text STEVE to 741741 to connect with a culturally trained Crisis Text Line counselor.
If you are looking for resources and you do not know who to ask, contact the Dean on Duty in the Dean of Students Office at 309-438-2008 or email DeanofStudents@ilstu.edu.
Faculty and staff, please remember the Employee Assistance Program includes access to Magellan Behavioral Health, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (866) 659-3848. Additionally, for those who seek a community of support, diversity-focused affinity groups include AsiaConnect, the Association of Black Academic Employees, the Multicultural Alliance in the Workplace, the Organization of Latino/a Employees, and the Queer Coalition. These organizations are available to provide support, camaraderie, and opportunities for community building.
Each of us will find understanding and relief in our own ways, but I hope we find strength in one another.