Chair’s Message Regarding Black Lives Matter

Dear CSD community,

The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN is a horrific display of racism in our country, only the latest part of a long history of racial oppression and ruthless display by police of inhumane treatment of Black people. While we wish that our academic and scientific institutions are exceptions, we must instead recognize that racism can be found here in our own institution, in Madison and throughout much of our society.

When I watched the footage of the murder of Mr. Floyd, I was shocked to see life being taken away so carelessly in the public space, I was flooded with sadness, grief, anger and many other emotions. Racism must be named and addressed. The protests we are seeing in Madison, around the USA and worldwide convey many of these emotions. Although our words may be comforting, action is more important than words. We must stand with our communities of color in demanding equality for all people, regardless of race, creed, sex, religion or color. It is our civic duty to make equality, education, opportunity, and personal safety a reality for all.

It is even more difficult for us to gather in this time of Covid-19 when health and safety concerns permeate every action that we take. As our community is mourning with our country for the inequality, the loss of human life and the inherent racism that permeates much of our society, there are things we can do. CSD has formed a faculty committee who will devote energies to creating space for conversation, to advancing equality and inclusive excellence and supporting all of our students and colleagues of color. I invite you to send me ideas and suggestions for areas in which you especially want to see us focusing on.

Regarding the city of Madison, I highly urge you to follow and get involved in the work of local organizations. Some of the most effective are:
Boys and Girls club (
Justified Anger movement (

This Sunday June 7th there will be a peaceful march from Library Mall the state capital, gathering starting 5:30pm in Library Mall. If you are not comfortable being in a crowd, please join the discussions online, reach out to people of color to provide support.

The following google document has some excellent resources to help promote and deepen work in the anti-racism space:*6lMTvZ5TRmrYZTv4YS55MA

Ruth Litovsky
Chair and Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders