Statement of Solidarity for Racial Justice from the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice

We, the staff, faculty and administrators of the College of Social Sciences, Policy, and Practice (CSSPP), know that the recent instance of police brutality in Minnesota is not unique to that community. Racial injustices happen in our hometown of Boston and across the United States. We know that anti-Blackness is a particularly virulent force in our society and that we must actively seek to become anti-racist. We also know that Black people are not the only ones systemically victimized in our society. We ache for everyone whose difference is deemed threatening and therefore subject to violence. We understand problems in policing, from militarization to lack of real transparency and real accountability, affect everyone. We support social and political action to provoke systemic change that promotes justice, safeguards human rights, and ensures fair and equitable treatment and respect for human dignity for all people.

We are committed to the following actions:

  • Initiating, supporting and making space for critical dialogue about the systemic forces of racism that shape us and construct our relationships with others and our communities.
  • Investigating and analyzing how these dynamics affect the communities within which we live and work.
  • Participating in social and political actions to interrupt oppressive practices and promote systemic changes.
  • Strategizing around solutions to dismantle racist institutions and practices.
  • Supporting those who are most affected by racism and injustices inherent in our systems.
  • Advocating for policies that support alternatives to policing, including community- based approaches to safety and conflict resolution.
  • Creating a learning environment that supports equity, promotes inclusion, and works to break down systems of oppression.
  • Accessing and creating resources that advance equity.
  • Avoiding actions that add to the undue labors of Black persons by asking them to navigate these violent waters on behalf of our non-Black community members.

We commit to holding ourselves accountable to effectuate change. We recognize that expressions of sympathies and condolences to the family, friends, and communities of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, are not enough. Their recent murders, and the murders and victimization of countless other people of African descent due to white supremacy, of which racist police brutality is a part, serves as a stark reminder of the deadly effects and enduring need to undo systemic racism in this country. Fueled by our collective commitment to undo institutional racism, the root cause of society’s most entrenched social justice and human rights issues, we stand against all injustice and oppression. We stand with the thousands of groups protesting and calling for action. We say the names aloud of all those murdered in the United States by police officers.

As James Baldwin stated: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”