We are heartbroken and outraged by the lives lost and endangered through the abuse of power over the past several months: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd, as well as Christian Cooper’s recent experience. These injustices are heinous, intolerable, and run counter to every fiber of our mission as a School of Education. Our deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families and friends.
In this period of unprecedented public suffering from COVID-19 and continued racially motivated violence, it is upon us — our School of Education community — to stand together in our collective responsibilities as scholar-educators and education professionals to do all that we can to ensure any person can pursue their lives freely and safely. Let us strive to expand our current work in promoting educational and social equity and seek new and broader ways to address social injustices of racism and prejudice — through our teaching, through our scholarship, through our practice, and through our community engagement.
I know this is an extremely trying time for our students, staff, and faculty. We are here for you and each other and wish to open spaces for discussion. We are also thinking forward about the ways we can continue to support broader work that disrupts/halts the normalization of such violence.
— Dr. Randy Penfield, Dean, School of Education