"The experiment is to be tried, whether the children of the people, the children of the whole people, can be educated; and whether an institution of the highest grade, can be successfully controlled by the popular will, not by the privileged few."
Dr. Horace Webster
first president of the Free Academy
(today CCNY) on January 21, 1849
Faculty & Staff Statement
We are the faculty and staff of the School of Education of the City College of New York. Our historic mission has been to educate all people – the rich and the poor - without distinction, save that of “industry, good conduct, and intellect.” We embrace and celebrate our mission to educate young people, no matter their background or origin, and no matter their identity. We help our future educators to become the future teachers and school leaders that our society so desperately requires, in order to be able to reclaim and renew our common humanity and our common future. We are educators because we believe in human possibilities and because we believe that education can be liberating and empowering. But we also live in dangerous and challenging times, and we are called to act.
Our future educators represent a diversity that we celebrate because we believe difference, rather than forming a barrier, enriches us. We care deeply about who our future educators are in all of their wondrous tapestry, and about who they will become. We care deeply about the kind of future we face.
We work with schools, school systems, and students who have been ignored and worse, by a world grown more hostile and worrisome. Our freedoms and constitutional rights are under attack. The very meaning of our democracy is challenged daily. Defending these will require that we commit ourselves, not just to helping our candidates become aware of these challenges and their root causes, but also to understanding and, most importantly, dealing with these challenges effectively as teachers and school leaders. Because we will be judged by our actions, not just by our words, we must be not just resolute, but must also lead by example.
To help us become the educators we must be, we dedicate ourselves to examining, understanding and reflecting on the ways we are affected as educators, and as human beings, by institutionalized privilege and forms of objectification – this includes but is not limited to racism, sexism, religion, gender identity, homophobia, xenophobia, words and actions directed at individuals because of their immigration status or disability, and all the other ways society denies the inherent dignity and worth of human beings. We resolve to work collectively and individually to create a more just world by examining our own practices, and thereby revive our wondrously diverse and vibrant democracy.
To put the above statement into practice, we pledge to devote part of our future faculty, department, program, and class meetings to an exploration of the issues identified above. We will promote the intellectual exchange within our school across different departments, programs and offices. We will reach out to the community about topics related to the challenges we face.
Faculty and Staff of the School of Education