Healing and Remembering our Responsibility to Humanity

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor D. A. Graham, Interim Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, 4:11 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff, Faculty and Affiliates All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Sent on behalf of Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer and Interim Vice Provost for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging D. A. Graham.

Dear Students, Staff and Faculty,

We condemn the defilement of the United States Capitol yesterday, a senseless and unlawful shedding of blood, loss of life, and the dysfunction that looms over our republic. This violent upheaval reminds us that facts matter, that there is power in our words, and therefore we must be careful with our speech. Words help us remember that we need to see in each other a common humanity that reflects our image.

The days ahead will certainly challenge us in many ways; we have to choose to focus on healing and creating an inclusive and nurturing community at KU. There are national questions that have yet to be answered, which speak to the disparity of the treatment of yesterday’s insurrectionists compared with those who peacefully protest in other settings and other cities. As we each engage together to restore our republic and our relationships, we have the power to choose to connect and understand each other – to be life affirming and life giving in our work and studies. Please avail yourself of your KU friends and mentors, as well as resources and counseling services this campus offers for students and for employees. We are in this together.

We ask that every member of our community choose to engage and communicate with each other bound by principles of inclusion, empathy, compassion, equality, dignity and diversity. We would hope that we choose to show up for our KU community with kindness, integrity, honesty and respect. We would hope that we choose nonviolence, truth, perseverance and the planet. When we find ourselves engaging in “us versus them” thinking, let us instead choose “we.”

We are KU.


Barb and D. A.

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Ph.D.
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

D. A. Graham, Ph.D., M.Div., MHR
Interim Vice Provost
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging