Supporting the Iranian Community

October 10, 2022

Dear Members of the George Washington University Community,

Over the past weeks, I have heard from students, faculty, and others who are personally affected by the deeply troubling events in Iran—including the death of Mahsa Amini while in police custody and ongoing violence against protestors—and who fear for their loved ones.

I have been reflecting on these messages and the passionate calls for freedom of expression and political protest and equal rights for women. These are among the important values of our university, and they are critical to fulfilling our academic mission by encouraging rigorous discourse and ensuring all have equal opportunity to succeed. As protests and violence have extended to universities across Iran, I am particularly concerned about the safety of students, faculty, and staff on Iranian campuses and their ability to teach and learn.

I want to emphasize that our university is here to support you. I encourage you to seek university resources, such as those available through the Office for Diversity, Equity, and Community EngagementCounseling and Psychological ServicesStudent AffairsHuman Resources; or Faculty Affairs. I also reiterate that each of us deserves to feel welcome and safe on our campuses and to receive support during difficult times.

We are a community that endeavors to solve challenging problems, and we are a community that comes together during challenging times. I hope that you will not only keep those affected in your thoughts but also reach out to friends and colleagues who may need your additional support and care.

Sincerely yours,

Mark S. Wrighton