Message to the SILS community from Dean Gary Marchionini

June 2, 2020

UNC School of Information and Library Science (SILS) Dean Gary Marchionini shared the following message with SILS students, faculty, staff, and alumni via email on June 2.

I am pained, outraged, and frustrated by the latest killing of an unarmed black man in the United States. The police officers who suffocated George Floyd must be held accountable and we all mourn with his family and community. 

However, it is up to all of us to admit that the ongoing line of assault on Black Americans is a result of systemic racism and widespread blind neglect toward inequities of opportunity, freedom, and respect.

It is impossible to understand acts of violence and racism—our minds and souls are battered and diminished with every incident. We oscillate between rage and numbness. 

We cannot allow our numbness to stifle our will and action to confront the diseases of racism and hate. Let us join together, talk candidly, and share our resources equitably. We must do so both individually and collectively. 

As we work to heal, we must also work to eliminate the broader conditions that admit violent and racist acts. I have no simple solutions but want to listen, learn, and comfort in any way I can.

At this time when we are forced to remain physically distant, it is important to find ways to share time and thoughts and to learn from one another. Express your feelings and thoughts in media or forums that feel right to you. If you want to talk individually or via Zoom to vent, to grieve, or to discuss actions we can take individually or collectively, please let me know.

Every one of us is indispensable.

Gary Marchionini
Dean and Cary C. Boshamer Professor