College of Education > About > Statement of Support and Commitment
We write today as one voice guided by the values of St. Vincent de Paul that uphold the dignity of all people. In this spirit, the College of Education is working to challenge systemic racism and to dismantle white supremacy. We are committed more than ever, as faculty, staff, and administrators, to making ourselves accountable for and actively raising awareness of the racist beliefs, behaviors, and policies that sustain discrimination and prejudice in all forms, especially in our own curriculum and practices.
We are sorrowful, distressed, and outraged by the senseless murders of African Americans in Chicago and across the country. We are called to say the names of Black people who have lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement officers--Tanisha Anderson, Rekia Boyd, Michelle Cusseaux, George Floyd, Eric Garner, Atatiana Jefferson, Tony McDade, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, and scores of other Black adults, youth, and children in communities throughout the country.
Racism and white supremacy are part of the foundation of this nation, manifested in forms such as subjugation, colonization, land seizure, slavery, indentured servitude, terror lynching, separate but equal facilities, redlining, and mass incarceration. The legacy of these atrocities has resulted in power and privilege for some groups while marginalizing and dehumanizing so many others. Notwithstanding the efforts of past social justice movements to combat racism, countless human beings continue to be victimized by white supremacy, racial discrimination, and injustice.
We support the peaceful protests occurring throughout the country and the world, and we join the voices of those who call for fundamental changes in policing and accountability mechanisms and for racial justice across society. Routine violence and human rights violations against Peoples of Color are pervasive in the United States and across the globe. Below are just a few examples of the impact of such racial dehumanization both nationally and abroad:
As a College of Education, our mission is to prepare educators, counselors, and leaders who are committed to creating equitable, compassionate, intellectually rich, and socially just environments. As part of a Vincentian university, our College cultivates social conscience, knowledge and practices necessary to address social inequities among and with individuals, communities, and institutions. We develop critical, creative practitioners and scholars who continually inquire and reflect on educational and professional practices. Through authentic experiences in and outside the classroom, we educate our students to be engaged, service-oriented citizens of local and global communities.
We believe that we must work together to continue asking hard questions and producing answers that may be difficult for those in power or positions of privilege to accept. A desire for systemic change compels us to work together to disrupt and end the racism that has produced multiple forms of violence in our nation. This must begin with our work in the classroom and around the university campus to listen, to seek, and to more fully acknowledge the many events that have led us to this point. It also must begin with our work in communities to challenge those who view Black existence as a threat.
The College of Education supports the growth of the present movement beyond the moment. We fully recognize that institutionalized oppression cannot be undone overnight, which makes our work ongoing with the ultimate goal of being transformative. We also acknowledge that the growth on our part may be discomforting for some students, faculty, staff, and administrators. However, if there is no discomfort in engaging this work, then there is no authentic growth or change. With all of this in mind, the College of Education is committed to the following actions:
We pledge to hold ourselves accountable to engaging in these actions. We invite you to hold us accountable as well.