From Dean Flanagan’s message to the community on June 2, 2020
Dear Berkeley Optometry Community,
We are living in difficult times, and this last week has been the most difficult of all. At Berkeley Optometry we are clear about our core values and guiding principles.
As our guiding principles state, “We are strongly committed to diversity, respect for cultural differences, and promotion of social justice. These principles serve us daily in our reasoning and actions and aid us in our decision making….We embrace diversity and community by valuing and respecting others, we treat everyone with dignity and respect, and we embrace the unique contributions of all members of our diverse community.”
Further, we abhor bigotry of any kind, and we are appalled by the blatant racism in our society and will not accept the violence perpetrated against the black community by individuals who are entrusted to serve and protect. We as a nation have experienced the grief of loss, through the COVID-19 pandemic, and through the horrific deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and we recognize that this is disproportionately affecting people of color.
We believe it is important to witness and confront current events, and to speak the names of the victims. Within our own community, we must act to ensure that the senseless killing of George Floyd and the many others before him, will be a catalyst to a just and equitable society. Today we mourn our loss of communal dignity and commit to a better, more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future.
As healthcare professionals, we have an extraordinary duty to ensure that the underserved of our country receive care that is so often denied by a system that unjustly excludes them. We need to do more; we commit to doing more. Another of Berkeley Optometry’s Guiding Principles is that “We are Passionately Engaged.” We define passionate engagement as caring more, risking more, and expecting more. There has never been a time in our lives where it has been more important for us to live by our values and principles, and to lead by example; by caring more, risking more, and expecting more.
I wish you safety and peace.
John G. Flanagan
Dean and Professor