To our Pamplin College of Business Community,

We see you.  We hear you.  We stand with you.  

The recent national events highlighting racial inequity and tension in our society are heartbreaking and traumatic to say the least.  Our hearts are heavy. We are a nation in anguish.

The senseless killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others have escalated civil unrest across racial lines.  We have been overwhelmed with news of tragic events impacting African Americans, which have illuminated racism as experiences of the present, and not just a distant, abhorrent memory.  

We acknowledge that faculty, staff, students, alumni, future Hokies, friends, family, and others are suffering unimaginably as a result of their identity, and combatting systems of oppression in all forms is a call to action.  

As a community of leaders and scholars, we know that injustice, inequity, and disparity will negatively affect business and the global economy.  Ethical consideration and response in business are fundamental to decision-making, success, and sustainability (see the Wall Street Journal article - CEOs and Big Businesses Speak out on Racism, Police Violence).

By now, you may have read and reflected on the statement President Tim Sands and Vice President Menah Pratt-Clarke issued in response to recent events. We join their efforts in the coming weeks to identify and address issues on campus and beyond. 

Diversity as a core value is our strength, and cultivating environments of inclusion, collegiality, and civility is our duty.  Our Pamplin College of Business Strategic Plan 2019-2024 articulates measurable actions for engagement, but transformation cannot rest with us.  We call upon all citizens of Pamplin to unite for a just and equitable society.  

In the spirit of Ut Prosim

Robert T. Sumichrast
Dean, Pamplin College of Business 

Janice Branch Hall
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Pamplin College of Business