Mason Hall

From Assistant Dean and Chief Diversity Officer Cynthia Turner:

June 8, 2020

Fisher family: 

Four years ago, I recall being particularly inspired and moved by an address that was delivered to my oldest son’s freshman class during his college orientation. Of the many poignant points this speaker made, I remember vividly the statement he ended with, a statement that energized everyone in attendance: that 2020 would be the year of perfect vision, the year of great promise. 

We all left enthused and excited about 2020. 

Last week, though, as we entered the sixth month of 2020 experiencing unparalleled nationwide unrest while in the midst of a life-disrupting pandemic, I was anything but excited about this year. As a black woman and as a wife and mother to three black men, I have been utterly heartbroken by the callous and brutally dehumanizing deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. As a family member and friend to many good men and women in the police force, I have also anguished over the hostile rhetoric and behavior misdirected toward them as a result. 2020 has been a tough year for our country. 

Nevertheless, the events of the past few days should encourage us all. On TV and on social media, we have now begun to see a groundswell of unity among our citizens of different skin tones, ages and backgrounds. In big cities and small towns alike, they are peacefully marching and protesting together in solidarity against racial injustice. Like those at Fisher, leaders in the private and public sectors have begun to speak and act out strongly in their stand against racism and are advocating a renewed commitment to working toward advancing racial justice and equity. 

Could this action be the beginning of a 2020 that is, indeed, the year of perfect vision? A year so painful that we all are now able to clearly see, with empathy, the struggles and challenges of our neglected communities across our country? A year so uncomfortable that we’re all more willing to work toward becoming the change that our nation needs? 

Today, I am hopeful and optimistic. Moreover, I am grateful to my fellow colleagues in leadership at Fisher who have wholeheartedly supported the immediate plans of our college-wide Diversity and Inclusion Committee in response to the tragic events of the past few weeks — plans that include the following: 

  • Hosting a virtual forum series that will allow Fisher faculty and staff members to offer suggestions and ideas as to how we can support, collaborate and create content together that can advance racial equity. The first will be from 9-10 a.m. this Friday, June 12. 
  • Hosting a virtual gathering of our black business students to check in on their well-being (this month via the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Services and Corporate and Community Outreach [ODISSCCO]) 
  • Hosting a virtual forum that will enable Fisher student organizations to explore ways in which they can collaborate and develop programming together that can advance racial equity (late summer via ODISSCCO) 
  • Hosting a virtual book club series for the Fisher community that explores race and racism in America (starting this fall) 
  • Developing a platform on our Fisher website devoted to providing diversity and inclusion perspectives, resources and related events and activities (starting this fall) 

This is just the start. I look forward to hearing from each of you with your ideas and suggestions. I truly believe that we stand at a historic moment, a moment in which we can transform our nation’s pain into progress and promise. I am excited!  

I will also be addressing this subject as a guest speaker on MBOE’s There’s a Better Way podcast series scheduled to launch on Friday, June 12. Click this link to check it out! 

Look to hear from me again shortly with dates and details about the upcoming events and activities. 

Sincerely, 

Cynthia Turner

 


From Dean Anil Makhija and Fisher's leadership team:

June 3, 2020

Dear Fisher Community,

We are in the midst of troubling times in our country. The senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and the current civil unrest that has ensued have brought us to a moment where silence is not a reasonable option.

Last week, many of us personally witnessed a video recording of someone pleading for his life as four police officers made the ill-fated decision that his pleas, and ultimately his life, did not matter. He was black, as were Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. Unfortunately, these tragedies are not isolated and have long been suffered by those in the black and brown communities across our nation.

We realize that race relations are complex and complicated in our country, which makes discussions about them that much more difficult and challenging to be had. Nonetheless, because members of our Fisher family are in pain, we too are in pain. So we want to express the collective support of the Fisher community and let our black students, colleagues, alumni and friends know that we stand with you.

Look to hear from our Chief Diversity Officer, Cynthia Turner, soon with opportunities for our entire college community to explore ways to support, collaborate and create content together that can assist in mending this racial divide in our country. We are committed to building a better tomorrow for you, our community and our nation. We trust that you are too.

Together we stand.

Sincerely,
Dean Anil Makhija

Department Chairs Joe Goodman, James Hill, Bob Lount, Bernadette Minton and Darren Roulstone

Sr. Associate Dean Brian Mittendorf, and Associate Deans Anil Arya, Aravind Chandrasekaran, Andrea Prud'homme and Ben Tepper
 


Resources

Students, faculty and staff can report acts of discrimination to the Office of Institutional Equity at equity.osu.edu.

 

For Students

Incoming students interested in learning more about the resources available to them at Ohio State can participate in Being Black at Ohio State: Community, Opportunity & Leadership, a webinar offered from 6-7 p.m. on June 15 by the Student Life Multicultural Center (MCC) staff. The MCC’s African and African American programming celebrates and continues rich traditions. It promotes an understanding of American history and awareness of current social issues impacting Black/African communities. The webinar can be accessed at: https://osu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMvfu2trDwrGNSQ0ZjhhIdNuGjj7eiJQA8u

Students who want to get involved and join the conversation can visit socialchange.osu.edu

The Office of Student Life’s Counseling and Consultation Service (CCS) is available to  students. Students needing to speak with a counselor urgently or who are in need of other resources can call 614-292-5766 at any time. After hours, press 2 to be connected to a counselor. 

Students may also access the Buckeye Peer Access Line (PAL), which operates Monday through Thursday from 8 p.m. to midnight, and Friday from 2 to 6 p.m.
The Wilce Student Life Health Services Center remains open and students may access their services by appointment here.

The Collegiate Recovery Community will continue serving any Ohio State student in or seeking recovery. In an effort to support social distancing efforts, all support services will be provided virtually. If you are interested in learning more about the services being provided and how to access the different services, please email recovery@osu.edu.

Students may access the Ohio State: Wellness app via download for iOS or Android devices.

For Faculty and Staff

The Ohio State Employee Assistance Program (EAP), in partnership with ImpactSolutions, provides resources for employees and their families in times of need. All services are confidential, complimentary and provided by experienced, licensed mental health professionals. EAP services are available to benefits-eligible faculty and staff, members of their household, parents and parents-in-law, even if you did not enroll in an Ohio State medical plan. Learn more about EAP at osuhealthplan.com/eap.

Resources available through The Women's Place can be found at womensplace.osu.edu/

For Everyone

Upcoming webinars from The Ohio State University Office of Diversity and Inclusion are available by visiting odi.osu.edu.

Register to join the Multicultural Center's mailing list at mcc.osu.edu/newsletters/

The Franklin County Suicide Prevention Services and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can help anyone who is concerned about suicide – either for yourself or on behalf of another.

  • Franklin County Suicide Prevention Line: 614-221-5445 
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255 (TALK)
  • Crisis Text Line: Text 4hope to 741741 

A list of Ohio State suicide prevention resources can be found at https://suicideprevention.osu.edu/get-help/

The Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies maintains a list of Queer People of Color (QPOC), friendly mental health care services in the area including suicide prevention resources.

The Ohio State: Wellness app is designed for students but offers tips and guidance useful for all members of our community.

I truly believe that we stand at a historic moment, a moment in which we can transform our nation’s pain into progress and promise.

Cynthia TurnerAssistant Dean, Chief Diversity Officer

 

Cynthia Turner Asst. Dean and Chief Diversity Officer, EY Faculty Fellow
Faculty Profile