Dear Honors students:
We’ve donated, we’ve protested, we’ve self-educated but there is much more to do.
In the moments when the rage, fear, pain and confusion over the murder of George Floyd flooded our minds and emotions, the Honors College faculty and staff decided not to draft an immediate statement. Rather, we chose to engage in action by participating in the #ShutDownAcademia day in solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter. We wanted our efforts to add up to more than a powerful statement, and our collective sense told us that we needed to pause, listen and learn first.
We recognize that many of our faculty, staff and students, as well as the College, as an entity within the larger American system of higher education, benefit from systemic racism. We decided to dedicate that time to better educate ourselves by reading, researching, and reflecting on specific ways we, as individuals and as members of the Honors community, contribute to and benefit from that system.
We write now to update you on our internal processing around violence against Black Americans. Our faculty and staff developed a set of ideas and specific recommendations for the College, ideas that span every part of the student experience from recruitment through our curriculum and graduation. We are working this summer to determine how to turn these ideas into productive actions, with the ultimate intention to transform the College into a more equitable, representative and safe space, one that has lasting effects on students and their education.
Structural racism might seem unrelenting but we know that if beneficiaries act against it with constant resistance we can move toward a more just community. We plan to be part of the constant resistance.
We will share a statement of actions with you before the fall semester begins.