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In Solidarity, A Time to Act

Message from the Dean

Like many of you, I am deeply saddened and discouraged by the events of recent weeks and the pervasive racism that precipitated them. The horrific deaths, including the most recent murder of George Floyd on May 25th, and the marches are poignant reminders that we cannot avert our attention from what is happening. We must acknowledge that despite the marches for civil rights and the passage of civil rights laws in the 60’s, we have far to go to eradicate racism that devastates the lives of all people in the United States, particularly for those of African heritage at this moment. “Black lives matter” is not just a slogan, it is a call to action.

We are in a unique position as a college to help ensure that educators and educational leaders learn anti-racist ways of thinking and acting, which they can in turn share with the children they serve in our K-12 schools. The vision for change cannot be the sole responsibility of our colleagues here in the College who are Black.  We must all share in the responsibility to fight racism and work together to ensure the vision of the College of Education to “support equity and diversity across the college and community” and to “ensure equity and access to opportunity that promote success.” It is not sufficient to include a reference or two on racism in our syllabi or invite a guest speaker to our class or college who is Black. We need to develop culturally relevant instructional content and teaching methods, publically condemn racism and violence against persons of color, and advocate more effectively on behalf of all people who are subjected to discrimination.

I realize that this is a very trying time for all. As these recent events reflect the lived experiences for so many of our students, colleagues, family, friends, and communities of color, we must do so much more. Both personally and as a College, we must examine our own thoughts and actions and join together in the fight for a more just and equitable world for people of color and other marginalized groups who suffer racism, discrimination, and injustice.

Our responsibility as members of the College of Education is to ensure that we are diligent in fighting racism at this moment in time. It is our responsibility to do everything we can to respond in ways that eradicate injustice. Please join me in taking action and standing with a long-term commitment in solidarity with our Black/African American colleagues and community.

Elaine Clark

Dean, College of Education

Last Updated: 3/15/21