Dr. George Hill on Charlottesville, DACA and Inclusion at Vanderbilt

Dallas Shatel, Deputy Editor in Chief

Over the summer, the Hustler spoke with Dr. George Hill about his time as Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion following his retirement announcement. Since then, a number of controversial events have threatened marginalized groups in America, such as the riots in Charlottesville, the Nashville Statement and the end of the DACA program, prompting several responses from Vanderbilt. Both the Hustler and Dr. Hill felt that it would be prudent to meet again and discuss the the steps Vanderbilt has taken and must make in the future to continue to promote inclusion among its students and faculty.

Over the past year, America has seen discontent expressed through action almost as often as through words, whether it be a simple gesture or full-scale protests. Dr. Hill had this to say on the power of words vs. the need for action:

“I think it’s very important to recognize that words are important, but a lot of the change that has occurred throughout our history in terms of civil rights, in terms of equal rights- whether it’s voting or use of facilities or respect for individuals who have different sexual orientations- I think progress there has come as a result of action. We can’t deny that and we have to continue to encourage it and find it to be acceptable.”

Below is a statement from Dr. Hill following our conversation regarding the discontinuation of DACA.

“I believe that all at Vanderbilt University should advocate for a continuation of DACA and support for the thousands who are affected. They are working hard to achieve the American dream. We should also do all we can to support those who are coming together for this cause advocating for firm, clear action for the continuation of DACA immediately.”