We join the nation in grieving the death of George Floyd, yet another reminder that the lives of Black people and people of color in this country are undervalued. We are deeply troubled that far too many Black people have been unjustly killed. We join with the many who seek justice and meaningful change in our society where Black lives are valued less than white lives. Peaceful protesters are responding by calling for justice in nearly every major city in the US and around the world. We stand with them and call out for justice for whom justice is denied.
In this time of national trauma, when the COVID-19 crisis has so disproportionately impacted the Black community and communities of color that we serve in our School of Education, when the injustices of our way of life have been laid bare, we unite in solidarity with all those who are taking a stand against the racism upon which our country was built and is sustained. We call on everyone in the CCNY community and the nation to recognize the pain and oppression visited on communities of color in this country as our shared pain and to be on the side that opposes the racism and inequality that are manifested both inside and outside of our walls.
In this moment, we renew our commitment to work for a public education system that truly values children of all racial, ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. We renew our commitment to work for an educational system and society that provides meaningful access to high-quality learning at the earliest ages and throughout their education careers; that nurtures them by providing well-prepared school leaders and teachers who look like them and have high expectations for their achievement and futures. We support, promote and advocate for efforts that fully fund public schools and public universities.
We take a stand for a higher education system that opens its doors wide to welcome students and faculty of all backgrounds – particularly those who historically have been excluded and underserved; for a higher education system that provides the educational and financial supports needed to graduate; and for a higher education system that provides opportunities for full participation in and transformation of our society. Our commitment as the staff and faculty of the School of Education is to help our students become teachers and leaders who foster deep learning and critical thinking and who promote equitable, just, and caring learning environments - so that their students come to understand the fraught history of America and engage in our world as citizens who advance democratic values and effect change in our city, state, nation and world.
We dedicate ourselves, individually and collectively, to work for a society where everyone is valued and can live their best lives; a society that consciously acknowledges our common humanity and embraces our differences. We are all interconnected; what happens to one, happens to all. We commit to examining our own beliefs, assumptions and practices as we build a more just, democratic, and peaceful world.
Now is the moment to confront and name the injustices of our democracy and to make changes to ensure it survives as a just, democratic society for future generations. Now is the time to join together to speak out, vote, change policies, practices, and beliefs that sustain the systemic inequities at the root of our collective suffering. Together, we must ensure dignity and respect for communities of color so that justice and equity prevail for all.
The School of Education’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Democratic and Caring Communities
June 5, 2020