The Purdue Engineering Alumni Association Board of Directors Response to Current Events

Like most everyone else in the world, the members of the Purdue Engineering Alumni Association Board were devastated by the murder of George Floyd, and the senseless killings of unarmed Black people by police officers across the United States, including the recent shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. We affirm our support for those who are protesting including Purdue students, staff, alumni, and faculty, and we assert the nearly universal claim that, “Black Lives Matter”. People are risking their lives during this COVID-19 pandemic in order to assure a more just future for America. We do not, however, condone or support violence as a form of acceptable protest. As Black communities across the country struggle with a disproportionate number of deaths because of COVID-19, we mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and many others who have been victims of police violence and whose perpetrators have still not been held accountable.

We would like to encourage the entire Purdue community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni to make a commitment to fight all injustice and prejudice through action. Stepping back from it all and thinking we do not have a problem at Purdue is not an adequate response. Although the angry and grief-stricken response by the entire country was a direct result of George Floyd’s murder, and the continued racism and violence against Black people, it does not go unnoticed that so many protesters are composed of a diverse group of people from many ethnic backgrounds. We feel diversity is the strength of every organization, institution, and movement. We the Purdue Engineering Alumni Association Board of Directors will do our part by creating a culture that will embrace and enhance equality for all ethnic and gender groups, promote diversity in thinking and in voice throughout the school of engineering, and help to eradicate systemic racism.

The thought of dismantling systemic racism can seem like a daunting task. And many people may wonder what the best way is to go about it. The answer is methodically, piece-by-piece, focusing on things we have direct control over – our actions. We know that Purdue has much to celebrate and be proud of, including the place where the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) was founded. Believe us, we know first-hand that Purdue has come a long way -- but we must continue moving forward.  Beyond the numbers, we want to ensure that the quality of the student, faculty, staff, and alumni experience at Purdue equips everyone to see themselves as responsible, civic-minded, and anti-racist leaders in an increasingly global and diverse world.


In Solidarity,

The Purdue Engineering Alumni Association Board of Directors

All Purdue Engineers for Life