Strong Allies Are Now Essential

January 24, 2017 Statement

Tens of thousands of women and their families banded together last weekend to march on Washington DC, seeking to bring attention to the need for justice, equity, and a common understanding that women’s rights are human rights.

Yet their message was pushed as far to the sidelines as possible by the incoming administration.

While these marchers hoped to echo the civil rights rallies of years past, they were denied permission to assemble on public land in the capitol that has long been used for such gatherings. President Trump’s Inauguration Committee blocked off as much open public space as possible in the hopes of silencing these voices.

But their voices were not silenced, despite this abridgment of first amendment rights. Thousands of people became allies to ensure their message was heard.

At CUE, we have long prioritized the importance of allies, working closely with colleges across the country to help solve issues related to race and equity.

And now this month, I am especially happy to announce a new ally here at USC to help ensure the message of equity and justice will thrive. Shaun Harper has joined USC to lead our new Race and Equity Center, where he will oversee groundbreaking research—a National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates—on students of color, LGBT students, students with disabilities, women, and religious minorities.

Shaun’s connection to CUE goes back many years—we have written together and published chapters in each other’s edited books, and we’ve wanted to work together for some time. He and I are already mapping ways in which our two centers can collaborate as allies. I’m very excited about the projects he and I have in mind—his expertise in data and research go far beyond what anyone else is doing, revealing major national trends that might otherwise go unnoticed.

I invited Shaun to introduce himself to our readers here, and he responded with some very kind words: “Hundreds, perhaps thousands of colleges and universities have benefited from the research, tools, and processes that CUE scholars have developed. Having the Equity Scorecard and the National Assessment of Collegiate Campus Climates at the same university will allow our two centers to respond to the field’s most pressing problems and promising opportunities. College presidents, provosts, deans, and faculty members will come to CUE and the Race and Equity Center for guidance and strategic partnerships.”

As we enter this challenging period for our country, and as we focus on our message to Make American Just, this new, experienced ally here on the USC campus could not have arrived at a better time. USC/RSOE gains an excellent professor and mentor, and I personally rejoice at the opportunity of once again having Shaun as a colleague. Welcome!

3 thoughts on “Strong Allies Are Now Essential

  1. Congrats Estela on this exciting appointment and your ongoing work. Your message here also welcomed and I applaud your clear and constant support of marginalized voices.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

  2. Thanks for all you do. We here stand with you and look forward to working with you on these most important issues.

    [This comment was originally sent via email, and was posted to this site by the Center for Urban Education]

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