A Message from the School of Government: Addressing Racism and Bias

A Message from Dean Mike Smith
Like all of you, I have received heartfelt messages from many organizations about the killing of Mr. George Floyd and related events. Mr. Floyd’s death is the latest in a long line of black men, and women, who have been killed throughout our history largely because they were black. It is a shameful part of our past and present. There is no excuse for how long it has taken our country to address the systemic racism that continues to cause violence and so many other problems.
 
Action is required for this moment to bring about real and enduring progress on issues involving race and bias. Learning about racism is important. Focusing on our shortcomings and improving ourselves is important. None of those things will be enough if they are not accompanied by a commitment to addressing racial inequities in government and improving outcomes for African Americans.
 
The death of Mr. Floyd at the hands of law enforcement has opened our eyes and our hearts, and it has challenged the School to confront what we can do to help government promote greater racial equity and inclusion. This is a time for honesty and humility. The School has not done enough. In addition to focusing on our own understanding of racism and bias, we need your help in identifying action the School can take to help address them in your work.  
 
The School remains committed to working closely with you in the ways you always have valued to improve the lives of North Carolinians. As our partners in public service, the School also is committed to doing more with you to address racism. We have included a two-question survey as a starting point. 
 
What can we do to help you?
 
Sincerely,
 
Mike Smith
Dean