The Duke Human Vaccine Institute is deeply saddened by the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and too many other Americans of color. We grieve alongside their families and our fellow Americans over the loss of another black citizen at the hands of police brutality, racism, and disregard for the dignity of people of color. These deaths have led to heightened awareness of the need for fostering diversity and inclusion more than ever. These deaths, and the resulting protests, have affected all of us in some way. Our emotional responses may be further complicated, or even exacerbated, by the lack of personal interactions and routines resulting from pandemic-associated isolation.
In acknowledgement of the emotions that our DHVI community is experiencing, the DHVI leadership and the Diversity and Inclusion committee all believe it is important to provide an avenue to discuss how recent events are affecting the employees of DHVI. We also want to make it clear to all DHVI employees that DHVI promotes diversity and inclusion and is committed to fighting against racism and systemic oppression. We proudly stand with our black and brown communities and all those speaking out against racism.
To this end, we will host a series of virtual meetings called DHVI Perspectives. The DHVI Perspectives series will provide a forum for DHVI employees to express questions, experiences, and reflections that bear on the challenging events taking place in our country. The first of these series of discussions will be June 8 during the DHVI townhall meeting. We hope that if voices are heard, we can learn from each other in order to make DHVI a more inclusive place. The DHVI is a diverse community committed to the principles of excellence, fairness, and respect for all people.