June 1, 2020
Dear School of Educational Studies Community,
I am writing this letter in light of recent protests resisting the unjust treatment of Black and African-Americans in our community and country. We, Educational Studies staff, faculty and leadership, know that many of you have been following these events over the last several days. The School of Educational Studies staff, faculty and leadership are shocked and upset about the repeated acts of violence against the Black community. The acts of police brutality that have been wielded upon George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery are the latest in a long succession of atrocities that challenge the values of an inclusive, equitable and compassionate community and country.
We, in the School, stand with you in saying that enough is enough. We stand with you in stating that Black lives matter. We stand with you in your rage and grief.
Instructors will be taking time to process the events with you in some of your courses. Importantly, we will be seeking to listen, console each other, and affirm a sense of community. Please let your instructors or SES advisors know if additional time with a counselor may be helpful for you and we can help you connect with the UWB Counseling Center.
We will also be making available resources that seek to help you in your role as change agents and educators. In your roles working with your community and/or with your students, you may be seeking resources to contextualize the brutality and frame the resistance as part of a movement of broader social change. The work of our own Professor Wayne Au and his co-author Dyan Watson, Teaching for Black Lives, may be a place to start.
I also encourage you to visit the thoughtful remarks from our UW President, Dr. Cauce.
Cornel West, the renowned philosopher/culture critic, once gave a lecture in which he stated that there is always hope and transcendence in these darkest of moments. He pointed to the communal and spiritual resources of resistance and hope that have repeatedly buoyed the Black community in the face of systemic oppression. I hope that we collectively choose and create hope and resistance in this current moment.
Ed Buendia and the Staff and Faculty of the School of Educational Studies