December 2, 2020
As GSAPP continues its stated commitment and dedication to addressing systemic racism and anti-Black racism across all of its dimensions, I want to again, both personally and on behalf of the School, share my deepest thanks and gratitude for the meaningful statements, urgent demands, and critical insights shared by faculty, students, and alumni through a series of powerful letters I and my colleagues received throughout the summer of 2020. I want to also recognize the time and care so many of you took in mobilizing the administration and faculty through writing, meetings, town halls, workshops, and other forms of collective engagement across students, faculty, and alumni.
These numerous meetings and discussions were seismic in their breadth, scope, impact, and, most importantly, promise for change. When I received the many letters, I wanted to give them the time and attention they deserved so that their impact could be meaningful, realistic, and permanent. I know that the resulting document itself has taken longer than many might have liked, and I am sorry for that; I also know that the frequent meetings and discussions I have been privileged to have with students and stakeholders throughout the semester have been fruitful for me and hope that this document can be seen as part of a larger framework of responsiveness.
I presented my proposed responses to the letters’ demands through the course of several weeks to all of the letter writers—students, student groups, as well as faculty—and am grateful to have received constructive feedback, important new ideas, and further insights that have brought a sense of focus and priorities for the School’s actions and commitments to unfold in the short and long term.
As promised at those meetings, and in light of the incredibly helpful, thoughtful, and extensive feedback I received throughout, the document below constitutes GSAPP’s official response to the letters, with the specific demands found across the letters appearing in italics at the beginning of each section, followed by our responses, as well as the short and long-term actions we are taking as part of GSAPP’s anti-racist action plan for lasting transformation at the School.
—Amale Andraos, Dean