Sent Oct. 27, 2020, to students, faculty and staff

To the UArts Community:

Today is a tragic and urgent day. Yesterday yet another Black man was killed by the police, this time here in Philadelphia. Walter Wallace Jr. was fatally shot by two officers in West Philadelphia. Our prayers are with the Wallace family. I am outraged and so saddened by another loss of life at the hands of an entity that exists to protect and serve. I am dismayed that we are incapable of enacting alternate approaches to de-escalating challenging circumstances that do not involve discharging bullets. There are many questions yet to be answered, but my heart once again goes out to our community most impacted by this tragedy, especially our Black students, faculty and staff, and all who were injured and traumatized last night. I implore all of us to support peaceful ways and actions that can demonstrate our outrage and demand change. Black Lives Matter.

Among the most important actions we can take is voting. I recently wrote to you expressing the urgency of exercising our most precious right, the right to vote, as an instrument for change.

As a reminder, Election Day will be observed as a university holiday beginning this November. Our intention is to make participating in our civic duty and exercising our right to vote as easy as possible for the entire UArts community of students, faculty and staff. Today, Tuesday, October 27, is the last the day to apply for a Pennsylvania mail ballot. For those of you who reside in the state of Pennsylvania, I urge you to consider your voting plan, and take action to ensure your vote is counted.

If you are not sure where to begin, we have compiled a page of resources at

Again, and as we near Election Day, please, if you haven’t already, go out and vote. It is the most important action you can take to demand change.


David Yager