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Building a Safe Future for all Vols

Dear colleagues,

This has been a difficult and heartbreaking week. We are not only continuing to grapple with impacts of a pandemic but also struggling to make sense of the national tragedy that is the continued violence against African Americans.

I put some of my thoughts on this tragedy into a message on Saturday. I met with campus leaders over the weekend and today, and I will hold more listening sessions throughout this week. I will continue to listen and engage voices from across campus on both of these matters. There is a lot of work being done to prepare our campus for a safe fall in the face of the coronavirus as well as building a safe future for all Vols to learn, work, and thrive.

The cabinet and I are engaged in conversations this week with students, faculty, and staff. We need to be honest with each other about systemic racism and how to extinguish it on our campus.

I am inspired by so many who have stepped forward to say “Count me in.” It will take all of us to do this work, so continue to look for updates in the coming days and weeks.

In the meantime, please take care of yourselves and one another.

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Donde Plowman