Message from the Dean of Students: June 1, 2020

Cooper Union Students, 

I don’t have the words right now to express exactly how I am feeling, and I’m not going to pretend that I do. I do know, though, that I am angry, and I know that I care deeply about each and every one of you. 

I know that many of you are also angry and are mobilizing in different ways to join the fight against white supremacy, racism in all its insidious forms, and the killing of black and brown people. 

One thing I can do now is try to provide you with some initial resources. But first, I want to thank The Black Student Union and the Cooper Climate Coalition for organizing a community gathering and discussion session earlier today. There were over 70 students, faculty, and staff together in that space. Many of the resources I share here are from that session earlier today.


First and foremost – take care of yourselves and each other. Here are some links to resources that may be helpful. 

Safety and Support at Protests and Demonstrations

Many have reached out for support should they choose to attend protests and demonstrations. Here are some resources including how to get support if they find themselves under arrest as a result of participating in a protest and demonstrations. 

Learn What We Can Do

Many of us often struggle to figure out what we can do and how we can help to combat racism and systemic oppression. One thing we can all do is learn about the issues and then reflect and provide space for our own growth and learning. There’s a lot here to reconcile. It is our responsibility to be educated so we can be open to changing and challenging ourselves first and then act in the world. 

An important place to start is for white people to become educated about the black and brown lived experience and not to expect communities of color to do the educating. People of color battle daily, historic oppression – both implicit and explicit. Those who don’t carry that burden must take on the responsibility ofactively learning all they can. Many of us are guests in this movement and should be ready and willing to listen to oppressed communities, and the oppressed in our Cooper Union community, and offer support without centering whiteness. As a community, we need to boost oppressed voices and be willing to listen.

Here are some resources you may wish to explore: 

I pledge to work with all of you to help make The Cooper Union the institution that it should be, the institution we all came here to be part of. It and we are deserving of nothing less.

In solidarity,

Chris Chamberlin 
Dean of Students

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.