We are sure many of you, like us, have watched with anguish and disbelief the hateful actions that have led to the senseless loss of life, once again, as well as the great grief and pain to many around the nation, including members of the NYU Steinhardt community, and especially for Black communities.
So let us be crystal clear about three things:
First, racism is utterly repugnant and offensive to our values. It must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Second, we are an academic institution that values civil discourse and learning. We ask that you embrace the values of civil discourse in general, and a commitment to learning to end such racism in specific, as we move through these challenging times. Our community’s response to the pandemic, to seek out new ways of coming together to serve those in need, gives us hope we will lean into this challenge as well.
As a start, on June 10, we joined #ShutDownSTEM and #ShutDownAcademia, asking our community to stop their usual activities to #Strike4BlackLives and dedicate space to discussing ways to collectively take action.
On June 19 - Juneteenth - an annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, we asked all members of the Steinhardt community to take the day away from their regular responsibilities for personal reflection and education.
Third, it is time to move beyond statements and as such we commit to the following as a School of Culture, Education, and Human Development:
- We will work with the greatest minds here at NYU and the NYC community on race relations, social and racial inequality, and institutional equity, to propose bold action steps that last beyond the lifespan of a statement.
- We commit to these action steps so that we see documented evidence of reducing racial and other forms of social inequality from pre-school to the highest levels of higher education. (Work already underway includes the Steinhardt Diversity Council, Faculty First Look program, “Conversations of Color” with faculty and students, and an array of inequality research initiatives across the School.)
- We will use our privilege for the good of all students but especially our communities most impacted by racial violence and oppression.
- Finally, as educators, we bear the greatest responsibility for teaching and modeling the values we profess to claim, not only in schools but in all our institutions, from the justice system to the health care system and beyond. We will do better.
We have much work to do but we have the right tools, when properly used and activated, from our students, faculty, administrators, researchers, staff, and local community members, to create actionable hope and a future we can build together with pride.
Faculty First-Look (FFL) provides professional development opportunities for current doctoral/terminal degree students from historically underrepresented groups who are preparing for faculty or related scholarly careers. FFL is a year-long program that provides participants on-site and virtual instructional and social engagement with Steinhardt faculty, postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students, deans, and administrators, to help participants better understand and prepare to launch their faculty careers
The NYU Steinhardt Diversity Council formed in 2016 as the School's advisory committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion matters.