To our students, colleagues, and communities,
We are writing to acknowledge and condemn the recent acts of anti-Black racist police violence. We express our collective anger and pain as we are all witnesses to these injustices. We recognize that these horrific events are part of a long history of anti-Black racist violence in this country. We are robbed of our full humanity and dignity when systems are rooted in and perpetuate white supremacy.
The School of Social Work stands against systemic racism which results in the dehumanization and death of Black people and the disproportionate inequalities affecting Black communities. We must recognize that our profession has a history of perpetuating anti-Black racism. As social workers, we commit to learning and increasing our anti-racist practice. As author/activist/professor Angela Davis said, “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.”
We say the names of the Black people who have recently been murdered: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Dreasjon Reed, George Floyd, and Tony McDade. We acknowledge and mourn the disproportionate deaths of Black people due to COVID-19. We are with the people as they stand up and fight for social justice and liberation. As author/activist/professor Ibram X. Kendi wrote, “Protest is the heartbeat of humanity. It is the sound of human rights beating to live.”
Non-Black people have a responsibility to think through and act in ways that support, affirm, and advocate for racial justice. Click here for anti-racist resources.
We want to be clear that Black lives matter. Your lives matter. Your families’ lives matter. Your community matters. We see you. We hear you. We appreciate you. We welcome your input.
The Faculty and Staff of the School of Social Work
Florida International University