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Emory’s Commitment to Belonging


Dear Emory community,

Emory University’s motto — the wise heart seeks knowledge — underscores one of our key institutional principles: Our work here is driven by the heart. Care and compassion are essential to our mission of education and service. These values have proven crucial in guiding our response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Emory has long strived to create a community of belonging. Within that charge, we recognize the importance of standing together during difficult times to support and encourage one another.

Across the nation and the world, however, fears over COVID-19 have sometimes erupted into anger and accusations, racism and xenophobia. Globally, reports of anti-Asian bias and blatant harassment have been on the increase. Sadly, these behaviors have even been directed at frontline health care workers in hospitals throughout the U.S. as they work to treat patients, save lives and serve the public — all under incredibly stressful conditions. And our students, while pursuing their education and resuming their lives, have not been spared from the hate.

As we find our way forward, let us not forget our essential Emory values. Mean-spirited, untruthful, socially stigmatizing remarks, slurs and actions do not represent who we are as a community. In fact, they stand in direct opposition to our most foundational principles.

Simply put, there is no room for hate at Emory.

Please know that bias and harassment within our community will not be tolerated. Indeed, harassment of any person or group of persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, handicap or veteran’s status is a form of discrimination specifically prohibited by university policy.

If members of the Emory community encounter such behaviors, on or off campus, we want to hear from you. For more information and support, please contact the Emory University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at 404-727-9867 or oei@emory.edu.

We recognize that harassment takes many forms. Some members of the Emory community have recently reported encountering incidents of “Zoombombing” — instances of uninvited guests crashing online Zoom meetings, classrooms and webinars in order to shout slurs and share offensive materials.

While Zoom has options to combat such intrusions, Emory’s Library and Information Technology Services (LITS) team recommends that those concerned with unwanted intrusions should require meeting passwords or, for smaller meetings, use a “waiting room.” For step-by-step guidance, please visit here. Additional questions may be directed to videoservices@emory.edu.

Spreading inaccurate information can too easily lead to scapegoating and other forms of disrespect, particularly aimed at persons of Asian descent. During this challenging time, we also urge members of the Emory community to seek out factual information, consulting official and evidence-based sources. For accurate information and updates on how the coronavirus is impacting Emory, please visit COVID-19 updates.

At Emory, we all have a role in building our community of belonging aided by members who are respectful of one another and find value in the richness and complexity of our shared diversity. Our inability to be physically present with one another offers an opportunity for us to demonstrate support for each other and to form an even deeper connection to our core values.

Now more than ever, let us celebrate our Emory values and strengthen our fundamental bond, affirming the dignity and humanity of each other through our words and actions.

Though apart, we remain, as always, in community.


Sincerely, 

Jan Love, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Christopher L. Augostini, Executive Vice President for Business and Administration, Chief Financial Officer

Jonathan S. Lewin, Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Executive Director, Woodruff Health Sciences Center, President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board, Emory Healthcare

Enku Gelaye, Vice President and Dean of Campus Life