December 8, 2016 Statement
Education cannot happen within an environment of fear.
Anticipating the social injustices promised by our country’s next President, students on campuses across the US have been looking to their professors and administrators for reassurance. As hate crimes and overt acts of racism continue to occur, many students are worried for their values and identities coming under attack by Trump and his increasingly horrific cabinet of advisors.
I’ve heard from research assistants within CUE itself-an organization meant to be a haven for equity and justice-who are anxious and fearful of what will befall us under the Trump regime. Their sense of worth, their identity, and their educational aspirations feel newly vulnerable.
This is apparently what Trump sees as “making America great.” But, in fact, it makes us weaker than ever before.
Fear cripples our capacity for education, it divides us, and it distracts us from our real goals for improving our country.
We need to replace the idea of “greatness” with justice. We are not trying to win some imaginary “greatness” contest, we are trying to foster awareness and importance around equity, fairness, and just behavior.
We accomplish this by making education itself a sanctuary-teaching students to become leaders and working with faculty to give them tools that will enhance their abilities as teachers and ensure their classrooms are affirming to all students, regardless of race, sexual identity, or background.
This is the foundation of how we Make America Just.
I hope you will join with me and CUE as we carry this message forward into 2017, as a rallying cry against those who oppose equity. We’re receiving tremendous support in the form of grants that will help ensure this vision will continue to spread.