A Statement on Racial (In)Justice
The mission of the NOSS Equity, Access, and Inclusion Network is to establish an open environment to nurture our members’ and stakeholders’ commitment to centering our student success work within a framework of equity, access, and inclusion. In times like these, it is difficult to find the appropriate words, but we cannot remain silent.
We mourn the unjust and preventable deaths of Mr. George Floyd, Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. We recognize that these senseless deaths are just three of the most recent tragedies which have occurred within our students’ communities which are also our communities. We acknowledge that these deaths and the systemic oppression which incites violence against people of color are part of the long history of institutionalized racism that plagues our nation. We condemn the continued police brutality against people of color and peaceful protesters. We stand in solidarity with students and educators who have taken to the streets to challenge social injustice. We recognize that, too often, the painful work of naming and dismantling racism falls to educators of color, whose emotional labor in this task remains unacknowledged. This work cannot be relegated to diversity-oriented groups, but must permeate the culture of higher education. Indeed, as educators, we all need to increase the visibility of our activism and our commitment to social change. We cannot be silent.
Educators have an extraordinary influence on and responsibility to our students and our communities: We have the power to change the world. In order to address and redress social injustice, we must begin with ourselves by asking:
- What can we do to unearth and address our own implicit biases and prejudices?
- What can we do to decolonialize our pedagogy, curriculum, and interactions with students?
- What can we do to support students—particularly students of color?
- What can we do to eradicate structural injustice within our institutions?
- What can we do to support positive change in our society and government?
Only after we’ve begun this work can we truly understand and respect students of color, their communities, and their cultures. It is not enough to be non-racist. We must become anti-racist. Recognizing that each of us is at a different point, we offer the following resources as a starting point for our conversations:
- National Museum of African American History and Culture “Talking About Race” Portal
- Center for Organizational Responsibility and Advancement (CORA) YouTube page
- Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt – How Bias Works
- Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
- JSTOR Daily–Institutional Racism: A Syllabus
We cannot be advocates for student success if we fail to address the issues which keep students from being successful. To this end, we invite NOSS members to engage with us in leaning into the difficult conversations about enacting social justice and unlearning the subtle and overt ways in which we all perpetuate inequity. The NOSS Equity, Access, and Inclusion Network works to increase the visibility of issues related to social justice, anti-racism, and cultural consciousness within the NOSS organization and the resources NOSS provides its members. You can find additional resources and information about the network on our webpage. Please share your questions or resources related to equity, access, and inclusion with our chair, Emily Suh, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Members of the NOSS Equity, Access, and Inclusion Network With full support and endorsement from the NOSS Executive Board