Dean's Statement on Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice

June 4, 2020

Dear Students, Alumni and Colleagues,

Over the last few days we have all focused on the appalling and unacceptable violence faced by Black and Brown people in this country. As the mother of three mixed-race children, I am deeply aware of the challenges faced by those among us who are sometimes defined by the color of their skin.

I know I speak on behalf of all faculty and staff of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture when I say that these injustices must end. And the responsibility to make changes lies with each of us—whether we work in, study at or support CAPLA.

As teachers and scholars, architects and landscape architects, planners and real estate developers and people who care about sustainable environments, we are driven by the conviction that equity plays a critical role in building a better world. So we have a particular obligation, as we work to expand equity and inclusion and realize social justice in the built environment and beyond, to help break down the structural racism that persists. At CAPLA we stand with the Black and Brown communities and others as we work to end racism and inequity.

Where do we begin? At CAPLA, five core values are embedded in our Strategic Plan. Of these values, for me, the most fundamental is to make CAPLA a leader in inclusive excellence. That means:

  • Recruit, support and retain successful students who reflect the future of Arizona and the communities we serve
  • Reinforce an inclusive and respectful environment
  • Prioritize wellbeing, equity and diversity as a central tenet of CAPLA culture in all our activities

Today, I want to reaffirm these objectives for CAPLA and reiterate that we are committed to living out the challenge spoken by University of Arizona President Robbins: “to be welcoming, inclusive, supportive and kind—and to stand side by side with the most vulnerable among us.”

Moreover, as a college we commit to:

  • Work with college leadership, the Council of Faculty Members and Staff Advisory Group, student organizations and other members of the CAPLA community to expand our anti-racist programming, practices and responses
  • Support faculty and staff to more fully integrate awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion into curricula, classrooms, studios, advising and all our interactions with students and the broader community
  • Welcome your ideas and suggestions for additional efforts—by contacting me at pollockellwand@arizona.edu

If we are to build a changing world, for ourselves and our children, we must do it together—and we must do it with equity, inclusion and social justice as our foundation.

Yours in service,

Nancy Pollock-Ellwand
Dean and Professor
College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture
The University of Arizona


Please also read: