My name is Trinity Gray, and I am a proud member of the Brown University Track & Field and Cross Country family. Like many other alumni, I am both shocked and saddened by President Paxon’s decision to effectively end both men’s programs. So I would like to share my letter to her:

Dear President Paxson,

Thank you for your recent e-mail addressing the social injustices African-American and other marginalized communities have been fighting for years. As an African American alumni of the Brown University Men’s Track and Field programs, it is vital for me to let you know that cutting the men’s track and field programs is an example of the institutionalized racism that people are rallying against across the country.

Your decision to cut the most racially diverse program at Brown means fewer black and brown student-athletes will have the opportunity to attend Brown, and Brown will be less racially diverse in the future.

Track and field have given minority communities a better chance of attending institutions like Brown. It’s not because we aren’t smart enough. But without our physical abilities, institutions like Brown would overlook us for students who come from a high socio-economic background. Your decision means Brown will become less racially and socio-economically diverse, and Brown will no longer be the example of what is right in sports but will become an example of how education institutions disregard diversity to increase their endowments.

I, like many alumni, hope that you suspend your decision and work with the Brown Track and Field alumni to come up with a solution to save a program that has been at Brown for over 100 years. Please engage us and remind alumni why Brown is a champion for diversity and socio-economic justice. I fear your decision to reduce the diversity in Brown athletics will be a stain on your legacy and Brown University for years to come.

Sorrowfully,

Trinity Gray