Support and Commitment

one hand reaches out to help another.

Dear Members of the MBM Community,

America aspires to be a land of freedom, equality, and opportunity. But now there has been a crescendo of the repression and violence that led to the successful non-violent defiance of Martin Luther King, Jr in the 1960s. The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, followed by the trial and the conviction of the responsible police officer, and other ongoing and tragic events related to race and social justice are deeply concerning to us all. They no doubt are weighing on you as they are on me. Accompanying anxiety and depressive emotions may be adding to the worry and stress caused by the continuing COVID pandemic. I am writing out of concern for you and your well-being. Our Campus offers support should you need it; let us know how we can help.

As we process this verdict, ongoing coverage, and the trauma associated with so many other tragedies, let us commit to making meaning of this in a way that creates a better, more just, and equitable society where race, religion, and country of origin are not what fixes our attitudes toward our fellow man. The Miniature Brain Machinery Program is committed to being part of this solution. I invite you to join us in cooperation. Building on our previous and ongoing efforts in this domain, we are forming a Committee on Diversity to conduct a climate study process with elements of self-study and accountability, to identify and eliminate our implicit biases, and to take up the charge to improve diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in our program and on our campus. I urge you to respond positively when you are invited to participate, to contribute to ensuring equitable education and opportunity in all of our endeavors, and to create a more inclusive climate for our faculty, staff, and students.

The following resources collected by our MBM faculty, Hee Jung Chung, may be helpful in this effort:

To report incidents of racism, xenophobia, and prejudice

To get counseling and discuss fear and anxiety associated with racism, xenophobia, and prejudice

To get general support and bring awareness of culture

To cope with mental trauma

To stay safe on the University of Illinois campus


Martha U. Gillette
Principal Investigator, Miniature Brain Machinery Program
Director, Neuroscience Program

Alumni Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology