A Statement from Dr. Singer
Dear CEHD Community,
There are defining moments in each of our professional and personal lives where circumstances and events dictate that we address matters of shared concern. Most recently, the heavy weight of disruption from a global pandemic converging with ongoing societal struggles has hopefully challenged us all to reflect on our better selves and confront the troubling events before us. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered, perhaps permanently, how we live, work, and play, and forced us to grapple with some very disturbing and sobering realities. This public health crisis has further exposed the historical, legal, and social injustices that have plagued this nation for centuries. As we have come together to cope with the COVID-19 crisis, we have also seen people come together to protest the pandemic of racism. The protests that have unfolded within the last week in response to the recent unjust killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Aubery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and other Black people across this nation have become a flashpoint in our troubled history. These nationwide protests by minoritized people in particular and their allies are just the latest in a long history of resistance against racism and other forms of gross injustice.
We are leaders in the college charged with providing strategic oversight for climate, diversity, equity, and inclusion via ODDI. As such, we think it is important to acknowledge the gravity of this situation, and provide support to members of our community whom might be struggling to deal with the pain, grief, fear, trauma, anger, frustration, and other emotions, mindsets, and outcomes they are experiencing.
In the spirit of TAMU’s stated core values and CEHD’s mission and vision, we urge each of you to think about ways we might support each other in these difficult and troubling times.
In this regard, we offer some suggestions to consider below:
- Use your individual voice, influence, and/or privilege to challenge and change systems of injustice—be it in the college, or beyond.
- Listen to and learn about/from the concerns and experiences of others, particularly people from marginalized communities.
- Educate yourself about the history and ongoing legacy of systematic racism in this nation, and its connection to other forms of injustice.
- Critically reflect on your own biases, assumptions, and narratives.
- Call out institutional and interpersonal racism whenever you see it.
- Check in with your Black/African American colleagues and friends in particular, and ask what support looks like for them.
- Recognize that if you are experiencing trauma there are support systems in place to help you.
- Be humble.
As a college, we must reflect more deeply on our mission of enhancing equity in educational achievement and health outcomes. Meeting this charge will require having difficult dialogues, but more importantly, acting to disrupt the systemic inequities that exist. We must strongly disavow racism and other injustices, and challenge ourselves, both individually and collectively, to grow if our vision to transform lives through leadership and innovation is to come to fruition.
John N. Singer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Sport Management
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
College of Education and Human Development
Texas A&M University
Resources on Anti-Racism and Allyship
- White fragility: Why it’s so hard for white people to talk about racism by Robin DiAngelo
- Just mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- White rage, by Carol Anderson
- Who gets to be afraid in America? by Ibram X. Kendi
- Why I’m no Longer talking to white people about race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- Hood feminism: Notes from the women that a movement forgot by Mikki Kendall
- So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Olu
- The new Jim Crow: Mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- Guidelines for being strong white allies by Paul Kivel
- A guide for sustaining conversations on racism, identity, and our mutual humanity by Steve Burghardt, Kalime DeSuze, Linda Lausell Bryant, and Mohan Vinjamuri
- How to be less stupid about race by Crystal Flemming
- Systemic racism: A theory of oppression by Joe Feagin
- Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
- George Floyd Video Adds to Trauma: “When Was the Last Time you Saw a White Person Killed Online?” by Alia E. Dastagir