IAS Statement on COVID-19

IAS STATEMENT ON THE MURDER OF GEORGE FLOYD

MONDAY, JUNE 8

The Institute for Advanced Study is outraged by George Floyd’s murder at the hands of four Minneapolis Police Department officers. Floyd’s death is one marker of the continuing, centuries-long lethal legacy of structural racism and colonialism in U.S. society. Change is taking too long. 

We support President Gabel’s action to limit work with the Minneapolis Police Department; we recognize and appreciate the leadership of Jael Kerandi, Undergraduate Student Body President, and the Minnesota Student Association, as well as the many students, staff, faculty, alumni, and community members fighting for this and other immediate changes. 

These are just first steps. The IAS is committed to using our position as a system-wide interdisciplinary center in every way we can to partner in the dismantling of systemic racism across our campuses and in the larger society. We will continue to advocate for the MSA’s demands for changes in policing and re-naming of specific buildings as part of our work to address the University’s complicity in white supremacy and colonialism. These changes are necessary to make our campus a safe, equitable, and inclusive place for all. As a predominantly white staff, we will relentlessly interrogate the ways we benefit from structural racism, are complicit in its perpetuation, and can change this cycle. While we work together on longer-term efforts, we pledge to listen to and learn from the community, and to use our platform to connect, share, and amplify the voices of those seeking justice and structural transformation.

Let’s get to work.

For those with immediate needs or wanting to help others, we recommend this list of resources, compiled by the Office of Equity and Diversity.

UMN RESOURCES & INFORMATION ON COVID-19

UPDATED MONDAY, APRIL 6

We have assembled a list of University of Minnesota resources related to COVID-19 below. 

If you become aware of additional resources, please email us at [email protected] with additional information we can share.


IAS STATEMENT ON COVID-19
REGARDING SUSPENDED EVENTS

— UPDATED TUESDAY, MARCH 17 —

As we hope you are already aware, our top priority remains your health, safety, and the well-being of our community. Following the recommendations of the State of Minnesota, we have suspended all events for the remainder of Spring 2020. We remain in close communication with our speakers and are working to reschedule events to a later semester.

We plan to share a variety of resources from our speakers as possible, and will also be revisiting videos and other resources of past IAS events over the coming weeks. Stay tuned for announcements about rescheduled events, resources, and videos on our Facebook, Twitter, weekly newsletter, and website.

In accordance with new University of Minnesota policy, all IAS employees will be working from home and our offices will be closed until further notice. If you need to reach us, our individual contact information is here, or you can reach us generally at [email protected]

We urge all members of our community to act with compassion and concern for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus and other infectious diseases worldwide. Acts of exclusion, harassment, and hate speech do nothing to prevent viruses and other illnesses from spreading; instead, such actions simply impair our abilities to work together as a community at a crucial time. We stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted, both directly and indirectly, by racist and xenophobic words and actions associated with these outbreaks.

Those with specific questions regarding how the University of Minnesota is responding to the challenges of COVID-19 can check for the most up-to-date information on the Safe Campus website.

Thank you, as always, for your patience and understanding as we work together to keep our community strong and healthy.

Warm regards,
The IAS Staff


 — THURSDAY, MARCH 12 —

As the challenges presented by COVID-19 continue to change rapidly, the University of Minnesota’s top priority remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community.

While there are no known cases of COVID-19 reported in our system as of today, March 12, as a precautionary measure to mitigate the risk of exposure to our University community, the IAS is suspending the next three IAS Thursday events: March 19, March 26, and April 2.

During this time we will continue to monitor the situation and will determine appropriate measures for the remainder of the semester's events. We are in close communication with our speakers and will follow up with announcements regarding whether events will be cancelled or postponed to a later date, including to a later semester.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have questions. We will be keeping our Facebook, Twitter, and this website updated as event statuses change, and will send updates via our weekly newsletter as well. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

We urge all members of our community to act with compassion and concern for those who have been affected by the COVID-19 virus and other infectious diseases worldwide. Acts of exclusion, harassment, and hate speech do nothing to prevent viruses and other illnesses from spreading; instead, such actions simply impair our abilities to work together as a community at a crucial time. We stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted, both directly and indirectly, by racist and xenophobic words and actions associated with these outbreaks.

Those with specific questions regarding how the University of Minnesota is responding to the challenges of COVID-19 may contact [email protected] and can check for the most up-to-date information on the Safe Campus website.

Be healthy, safe, and well.

Warm regards,
The IAS Staff