The continued systematic violence and oppression against Black Americans is horrifying and traumatic as evidenced in the state-sanctioned and vigilante violence resulting in the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, and Tony McDade. In response, a flood of emotions has gripped our community. Across the country, people are rising up against this violence and disregard for Black lives. These few names represent only the tip of the iceberg of systemic violence embedded in a long history of anti-Blackness and racism in our country.
We at the Colorado State University School of Education and RISE Center affirm the experiences of the Black members of our community and the deep pain of this raw wound of white supremacy. We have struggled to write a statement that adequately acknowledges this pain and that demonstrates that we stand with you and share the burden of this pain with you. We know that for this statement to have meaning, we have to fully commit to use our power and privilege to be change agents in our classrooms, on our campus, and in our community.
This commitment means conscientious work to understand the history of racism and its entrenchment in our social and educational systems, to understand our role in these systems, and to learn how to transform these systems within our classrooms and organizations.
*Please urge all libraries to purchase these books and books by Black authors for adults and children, and to make electronic versions available for free.
We invite you to let us know what you need from the School of Education and RISE Center as we grapple with this national trauma. And we welcome suggestions for continuing our collective work in dismantling racism and transforming our institutions and communities as educational leaders.
In Peace and Solidarity,
The School of Education and RISE Center
Colorado State University