We, the Executive Board (Rita Kohli, Alyssa Hadley Dunn, Keisha Green, La Mont Terry, Katy Swalwell, Bianca J. Baldridge, Nicholas Daniel Hartlep, Cleveland Hayes) of the Critical Educators for Social Justice (CESJ) special interest group (SIG) of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), stand in solidarity with communities working to challenge racism.
Based on recent grand jury decisions not to indict the officers who killed Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and as educators committed to equity and justice, we feel a responsibility to take a formal stance against the anti-blackness that plagues our schools, justice system, and society. The events in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York provide two examples of blatant racial injustice woven into the fabric of the United States. Even since the killing of Michael Brown on August 9, 2014, we have seen multiple cases of unarmed Black youth shot and killed by the police, including twelve-year-old Tamir Rice.
Our SIG has, at its heart and in our mission, a commitment to “the struggle for social justice, human rights, and democracy in education for diverse communities.” This includes a challenge to the ongoing and systemic racial oppression that we see in Ferguson and beyond. As critical education scholars, we must recognize the socializing message of this callous disregard of Black lives. We have a responsibility to reframe the discussion and illuminate that #BlackLivesMatter. We cannot afford to stay silent.
Please see our full statement (linked below and here:http://bit.ly/1u57w8l) and share with your communities. You will see that we have committed to a dialogue about #BlackLivesMatter and its implications for the academy at AERA's annual meeting in Chicago in April 2015.