A Letter to the MIT Sloan Community from Dean Schmittlein

During these trying times, I am reaching out in the hopes that you and your families are healthy and as well as can be expected.

Today, I write to all members of our MIT Sloan community – students and alumni, staff and faculty – to share how MIT Sloan has responded to the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and countless Black people before them. I am deeply saddened to know that there are already others who have come after them. Even today, it seems that the name Oluwatoyin Salau may be added to this devastating list. It is important that our community realizes that all Black lives matter, so I would be remiss if I did not express my outrage at the violent and hate-driven deaths of Riah Milton and Dominique Fells, two Black trans women who have been murdered in the last week. It is important that these names be said. 

The following is a non-comprehensive list of deaths at the hands of police in the U.S. since Eric Garner’s death in July 2014, with credit to NPR’s Code Switch:

It is important that these Black lives be known and remembered. And it is well beyond time to say enough is enough.

I also write to share more about what we are currently doing to address the systemic racism that has haunted this country since its inception, and what more we plan to do in the immediate future. You may have already seen MIT Sloan’s homepage. If not, please know that we, as a school, and I, as an individual, stand with members of the Black community. And that we do not intend only to stand, but also to act. As we act, we do so for Black lives and for the wider diversity and inclusion that our community is and must be built upon.