UNITING IN SOLIDARITY AND COMMUNITY: LEAD’S COMMITMENT TO LEADING ETHICALLY AND STANDING WITH OUR BLACK STUDENTS AND COLLEAGUES THROUGH AUTHENTICITY, LEARNING, REFLECTION, EDUCATION, AND ADVOCACY
The Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Office would like to share our continued commitment to leading ethically and standing with our Black students and colleagues through authenticity, learning, reflection, education, support, and advocacy.
It is extremely difficult to find the words to express the raw emotions that so many are experiencing right now related to the continued and systemic racism, police brutality, violence, injustices, and years and years of trauma that Black people have had to endure.
As Rose Pascarell, Vice President for University Life shared earlier this week: Mason’s Mission – “We are an inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world’ – cannot fully be realized until we come to terms with systemic racism and the racial injustice that continues to result from it.” (June 2020)
After reflecting upon and reviewing LEAD’s work, as well as our mission and vision, we would like to recognize, acknowledge, and commit ourselves to the important work that is needed to support our Black students and colleagues through the following:
- Participating and actively engaging in opportunities to challenge ourselves, and our thinking, in order to breakdown any harmful stereotypes and detrimental historical narratives that we may have
- Expanding our understanding and knowledge around issues that disrupt anti-blackness
- Strengthening our efforts when developing leadership programming, workshops, and trainings, to incorporate more education around diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and other social justice issues
- Consistently engaging with our Mason community and fostering spaces for the hard conversations
- Collaborating to eliminate structural barriers to equity and justice for our Black students and colleagues
- Empowering and inspiring our Mason community to make positive change through activism and advocacy
We will take the time to listen and hear what is happening around us, and we will do the hard work that is needed. There will be times when we fall short, and we will not only do our best to acknowledge those missteps, but we will learn and change our behaviors. We will fight for justice and equity and we will strive to combat anti-blackness and racist behaviors and actions. The LEAD Office is committed to doing this essential work not just today, but everyday. If ever there was a time for leadership for positive change, it is now.
If you are looking for ways to help end white supremacy, disrupt anti-Blackness, and support our Black students and colleagues, here are just a few ways you can help today:
- Listen, reflect, and take the time to educate yourself.
- Read and learn about anti-Black racism.
- Challenge yourself by reflecting on your identities, privileges, behaviors, and actions.
- Call out/in friends, family, and colleagues who say/do racist things. Challenge their words and actions.
- Donate funds and support initiatives and platforms that support Black lives.
- Reach out to local and national representatives to help change systemic behaviors and policies. Demand for them to implement policies and initiatives that support Black lives.
- Connect and engage with one another.
- Honor and keep saying the names of those killed by police brutality
In community, we stand in support of our Black students and colleagues. We will not stand in silence.
~The Leadership Education and Development Office (LEAD)