If the day’s events began as a “march,” they ended as something altogether different—anarchy that challenges the terminology of history. Photograph by Eric Lee / Bloomberg / Getty

The UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute condemns the violence at the nation’s capital last week. We acknowledge the harm these acts of violence have brought on individuals and institutions, and encourage a thoughtful dialogue as to how we can move forward in a positive direction. We are committed to democracy and to open and just institutions that reflect the highest standards of ethical conduct and social justice. 

As part of the University of California, we enthusiastically accept our responsibility to support the UC values of equity and access to higher education, which we affirm is a foundation of a just society.  We embrace the mission of educating our next generation on ways to further social and racial justice peacefully and within the framework of democracy. 

In this spirit, and in the spirit of the social justice movement of 2020, the Genomics Institute established a Diversity Committee last summer and we have already pushed forward proposed policies. For example, we are encouraging goals for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) actions in staff annual performance assessments, and developing more equitable and inclusive hiring practices at all levels. We hold ourselves accountable to these goals.

The University motto of Fiat Lux, “Let there be light,” summarizes our collective faith in the value of both research and public education and their roles in sustaining our democracy. As part of the University, we embrace that same spirit and look forward to a future that supports this tradition.

To reiterate Chancellor Larive’s message of support, we encourage our campus community members to find safe psychological spaces, and if you need support, please reach out to our many campus resources. We also reiterate our support of all marginalized community members, a sentiment that was eloquently delivered last year by the AARCC and its director, Shonté Thomas.