A Message from Attallah College
June 11, 2020
Black Lives Matter.
The Attallah College of Educational Studies stands in support of Black communities and must speak out against racism. The murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others serve as stark reminders that we have yet to develop a cohesive and systematic response to racism in the United States and across the world. As stewards of our academic discipline, Attallah College must foster the work of anti-racism and deliver on the promise of equality for the Black students and Black families whom we and our graduates serve.
The current uprisings supporting Black communities highlight the ways in which police brutality, harassment, vigilantism, racial profiling, and racist law enforcement practices have resulted in violence against Black people in particular. At the same time, racism must be recognized as deep-rooted, layered, and interrelated to other structures of oppression. Anti-Black racism can be evidenced across all major institutions, including all levels of education. It must be challenged on multiple fronts.
As educators, we are committed to examining our own complicity in this problem and to taking immediate steps to reflect among ourselves and with our students. It is our responsibility to use the tools of our craft as pedagogues to endeavor to pull up American racist sentiments by the roots. We must work to challenge stereotypes and deficit narratives about Black communities and Black people. We must recognize that these stereotypes and narratives provide the groundwork for biased interpretations of police violence against Black people, tamping down otherwise justified rebuke and signaling to the Black community that their lives do not matter. We must strive to challenge our students — future educators, counselors, and leaders — to listen and learn from those with a spectrum of experiences.
We recognize there is no easy, quick fix for systemic racism, implicit bias, discrimination, microaggressions, and violence, so we seek to hold ourselves and one another accountable in our long-term commitment to anti-racism. We commit to listen, reflect, and act, examining our College’s curriculum, programs, and community engagement efforts to see where and how we can do better and contribute to improvements in our University and our communities.
We invite you to join us. We ask for input from our students, alumni, and community to inform the ways Attallah College can meet this challenge and, in doing so, more holistically serve the Black community.
This statement of solidarity will be followed by a series of updates on actions we, as a College, will take to combat white supremacy and embrace diversity at Chapman and beyond. In addition, we aim also to share resources with our fellow educators inside Chapman, our students and alumni, and our local and global community. For those seeking ways to become better informed or get involved in anti-racism efforts today, we encourage you to visit Chapman.edu/whatwecando for lists of resources and organizations on the frontlines.
Black Lives Matter.