Black Lives Matter at UMPI

Black Lives Matter at UMPI

ADD YOUR NAMEGreetings to the UMPI Community,

Over the past month, we have all been paying attention to the news and following stories surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement.

We have seen coverage of large protests and rallies and viewed videos documenting interactions between law enforcement and community members, all while processing the news stories and social media posts about the worldwide scale of these events. At the same time, we recognize that many may still perceive this as a movement happening elsewhere and not directly impacting our immediate community.

Institutionalized racism and the legacy of white privilege, and their associated cultural behaviors, are very real in Maine, Aroostook County, and at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. These behaviors, whether explicitly exercised or implicitly maintained, continue to have a detrimental impact on the people of color who call this place home.

Progress can only occur when we each confront our own position of privilege, hold one another accountable, and become actively anti-racist. It is no longer enough to think or say “I’m not a racist,” because that does not require us to participate in the disruption of racist systems. Instead, to declare yourself “anti-racist” is to say that you will do everything in your power to fight against racial oppression in all its forms. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmum wrote in 1978, “In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race.” Therefore, we must all address the racialized world around us and actively confront racism by supporting anti-racist policy and declaiming racist ideas and actions when we encounter them.

Black Lives Matter is an example of a direct anti-racist response to centuries of racist policies that remain woven into the fabric of our culture. There has been widespread debate and misunderstanding over what “BLM” actually means. Black Lives Matter does not mean that any lives matter less than Black lives; it means that we must all recognize, today, that a single Black life matters as much as a single white life. It is an authentic anti-racist response that ensures we truly embrace one another as human beings. It recognizes the reality that millions of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Americans live in fear of unnecessary violence and death based solely on the color of their skin. All lives do matter, but Black lives need our support at this moment in time and it is vital that we say it out loud for the world to hear.

UMPI students are experiencing racism right now. Today. In their homes here, in other parts of Maine, and across the country. Unfortunately, there are few places on social media and in our general communities where racism does not reach. As a result, UMPI students are being harassed at protests and sent racist messages, profiled in stores and businesses, and experiencing indirect, subtle, and even unintentional acts of racism on a daily basis. These microaggressions are happening to wide groups of individuals of various marginalized identities, whether they be based upon race, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, or age. These abuses are often labeled as “not a big deal”; thus, when someone experiences and expresses hurt they are often told they are being “too sensitive.” However, the collective impact of such abuses every day over time can be overwhelmingly significant and can make individuals feel both unwelcome and undervalued.

This is something each of us can help to change. We encourage every member of our community to ask themselves what they are doing to be actively anti-racist, because, the exercise of racism anywhere diminishes humanity everywhere. Conversely, the exercise of anti-racism, which supports the belief that there is nothing inherently right or wrong with any racial group, leads to racial equity and embraces our common humanity. Everyone can engage in anti-racism in their own way. Some are attending protests and contacting government officials demanding policy changes. Some are donating money to the NAACP. Some are reading books and watching documentaries as they work to understand other perspectives. Some are having difficult conversations with family and friends, and challenging racist and otherwise bigoted jokes and comments. Others are reminding colleagues and fellow community members of the foundations of civility and respect that are the cornerstone of anti-racist and inclusive behavior. What is vital is that each of us finds our own way to be anti-racist in our own lives.

As leaders, family members, teachers, and learners, we stand with Black Lives Matter and the BIPOC communities calling for our support to end institutionalized racism and become champions of anti-racism. We invite you to stand on this side of history with us.


Raymond Rice
President and Provost

Matthew Morrin
Dean of Students

Sarah Coyer
Director of Student Life
NSLS Advisor

Jason Johnston
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Barbara Blackstone
Dean of the College of Professional Programs
Sen. Woman Administrator, Athletics

Benjamin Shaw
Chief Business Officer
Advisor for SGA

Jason Towers
Executive Director of Enrollment Management

Deborah Roark
Executive Director for University Advancement & External Affairs

Dorianna Pratt
Labor Relations Manager
Senior HR Partner for UMPI
Title IX Coordinator for UMPI

Lisa Smith
Special Assistant to the President

Matthew Payan
UMPI SGA President

Ines Ngoga
Senior Student Ambassador
BSU President
Bio-Med Club President

Shirley Rush
BSW Program Director
BSU, Advisor
SOSW, Advisor
Inclusion and Diversity Council, Chair

Kendra Bear-Perley
President of Native Voices

Dan Kane
Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation
Head Men’s Basketball Coach

Dr. J, Saint, Dusty
Jacqui Lowman
University Senate Chair
Associate Professor of Professional Communication and Journalism
International Student Club, Advisor

Stacey Emery
Faculty Assembly Chair
Assistant Professor of Business and Accounting

Allen Salo
President, University of Maine at Presque Isle’s AFUM Chapter
Associate Professor and Coordinator of Psychology Program

Rachel Rice
Director of Marketing and Communications

Corinne Corbin

Jordan Hansen

Scott A. Harrison
Executive Director, Central Aroostook Council on Education

David Murray
Director of Early College Programs

Laurie Boucher
Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Sandy McDougal
Administrative Specialist, Athletic Department

Chunzeng Wang
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Fred Strickland
Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity and Computer Information Systems

Carol McGlinn
Director – TRIO College Access Services

Jennifer Deschene
Campus Branch Manager, University Credit Union

Nancy Pierce
Senior Financial Analyst

Franklin Thompson
Assistant Professor of Psychology

Darylen Cote
Retired Director of TRIO College Access Services

Linda McLaughlin
Administrative Specialist

Roger Stinson
Head Baseball Coach

Christopher Smith
Associate Director of Wieden Hall, Head Coach of Women’s and Men’s Cross Country and Track and Field

Tomasz Herzog
Professor of Social Foundations of Education and Social Studies Education

Lisa Leduc
Professor of Criminal Justice

Shara Page
Associate Director of Advising

Deborah Hodgkins
Professor of English, Coordinator of Humanities and Fine Art

Gavin Kane
Assistant Athletic Director/Women’s Basketball Coach/Men’s Golf Coach

Jeffrey Davenport
Adjunct Professor

Kim Masse

Larry Feinstein
Assistant Professor of Biology

Anne Chase
Tutor Coordinator/Science Specialist

Ericka Weatherbee
SSS Administrative Specialist II

Teri StPierre
Mathematics Instructor

Jean Cashman
Associate Professor of Social Work

John Haley
Director of University Experience

David, Putnam
Associate Professor of Science

Roger, Getz
Director of Library Services

Sarina Raposo
Resident Assistant

Rowena McPherson
Coordinator of Graphic Design, Social Media, & Photography; Adjunct Faculty

Shawn McPherson
Digital Content Specialist

Pamela Easler
Administrative Specialist

Lea Allen
Assistant Professor of English, Co-director of the Honors Program

Nola Belanger
Admin. Specialist

Mary Kate Barbosa
Director, Student Support Service

Tracy Rockwell
Director, Houlton Higher Education Center

Jen Lynds
Adjunct Professor

Melissa DeMerchant
Human Resources Partner

April Chase
Assistant Director, Student Support Services

Amber Woods

Alissa Edwards
Head Softball Coach and SSS Academic Programmer

John Zaborney
Professor of History and Political Science and Coordinator of History and Political Science

Alexander Myhre

Naomi Rice

Carrie J. Bossé
Administrative Specialist, Early College Programs

John Harrington
Adjunct Faculty – Psychology

Emily Burr

Nicole Mills

Heidi Dockery

Corinthian Dockery

Kris Cote

April Flinta

Kylie Vining
Nursing Student

Carol Corcoran
Chief Human Resource Officer, UMS

Kelly Zuras
Administrative Specialist CL3, Human Resources/Title III Grant

Tim Crowley

Mary Crowley

Melissa Lizotte
Alumni (English Program)

Jennifer Wortman
Recent Graduate 🙂

Macie Tompkins

Craig Terrell

Adam Weyeneth

Laura Bagley

Kat Hartford
Women’s and Gender Studies Student

Cynthia, McCarthy
Former student

Griffin Goins

Matt Clark
Asst Women’s Basketball Coach

Belle Thibault

Danielle Pelkey
Assistant Director of Financial Aid

Robert Steele

Lorette Adams
Former SAGE student

Shelby Pelletier

Robert Murray
Associate Professor Emeritus

Gayla, Shaw
Adminstrative Specialist

Lillie Lavado
CRM & Comm. Manager

Max Bushman

Craig Cormier ‘06
Interim President, UMPI Alumni Association

Sierra Mailman

Brad Wolverton

Alice Bolstridge
Ph. D. UMPI Alumna 1970

Shelly Mountain

Allen Stanback

Craig Kesselheim

Desiree Felch

Ryan Simpson

Carolyn Dorsey
Dean, College of Degree Completion and Credentialing

Fenton Jones, Boys & Girls Clubs of Border Towns

Janet Charette

Pat Karpen

Carol Ayoob
Mainely Girls Chair – Board of Directors

Nathan Richardson
Student (English major)

Lisa Udasco
Administrative Specialist CL2, Conferences and Special Programs

Stephenie Bragg

Sandra Huck

Bethany Lord
Professional Academic Advisor

Dr. Dottie Martin
Dean of Development & College Relations-NMCC

Lorelei Locke
Director of Advising

Kailee Sprague

Kim Sebold
Professor of History

Debra Guiod
Spanish Instructor

Shawna Page

Rachel Stetson

Julia Macek, LCSW
Adjunct Professor in Social Work

Wendi Malenfant
Education Faculty

Jim Dwyer
Associate Professor of Agriculture

Margaret Yeager
UMPI Alumni

Alex Guillotte

Brian Day
Adjunct Instructor – Social Work

Melanee Terry

Judith L. Roe
Associate Professor of Biology; Biomedical Club Advisor


Contact Us

Rachel Rice
Chair, Inclusion and Civility Task Force
12 Preble Hall
181 Main St.
Presque Isle, ME 04769

Phone: (207) 768-9447
Fax: (207) 768-9608