Stand Together

Dear Engineering Students, Faculty and Staff,

The past several months have presented unprecedented challenges for our community, the nation, and the world. Recent events have reminded us that while we are all focused on keeping our loved ones safe and healthy, our society’s underlying inequities remain.

Across the nation, thousands have gathered at rallies, protests, and vigils to speak out against police brutality and racially motivated violence. The decades of systemic abuse must stop now.

During his last sermon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke about the “appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, ‘Wait on time.’” His words still resonate today, more than 50 years later. As dean of the College of Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona, I will not remain silent. We cannot continue to wait on time to change our country. We must do our part. We must speak up, stand up against the injustices done to George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others over the years. Show support for our students, friends, colleagues, and neighbors of color who are struggling to bear the weight of systemic injustice committed everyday across our nation. Please reach out to them, let them know they are not alone.

Dr. King also said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I have the distinct privilege of holding a leadership position at this university and I must do more than speak up against systemic racism: there must be action. I invite our students, faculty, and staff to contribute ideas so we can create more impactful change in our college. I will listen and help however I can. We must not remain indifferent. We must stand and act together to tackle systemic racism.

Be safe and well. Standing together, we will bend the arc of the college and the nation toward justice.

Joseph J. Rencis, Ph.D., P.E.
Dean, College of Engineering