AN INVITATION FROM ERNISE WILLIAMS
Dear Faculty Colleagues:
The first day of class is upon us. Here are links to resources that have been shared by many experts across campus and nationally related to faculty and campus responses to the hateful events that occurred in Charlottesville and chaos that followed. President Flanagan shared with faculty the email he wrote to our students clearly affirming his position that there is no forum for the espousing of hate on our campus. How do we (faculty) support this position and maintain inclusive and welcoming learning environments? To prevent multiple emails to you, the links are compiled below. They are meant for use as reference as you prepare for discussion with your students. The resources offer baseline:
- Historical perspectives on race and hate to enhance your understanding
- Guidance on how to approach conversations meaningfully and carefully, and
- Opportunity to understand and begin to address your own biases that might impede respectful and empathetic dialogue
- Ideas for social and racial justice advocacy
We encourage you to acknowledge these events to the degree you can do so comfortably. Ignoring historical and painful events can lead to the misperception of not caring. However, please consider the if it is the right time for you and your class to discuss. If so, a few ideas are:
- Quote or cite President Flanagan’s message with your support.
- Acknowledge that the events of Charlottesville are on the minds of many. Suggest a moment of silence to settle your thoughts as we begin this semester.
- Ask students to reflect using this question: “What questions you have related to the events in Charlottesville". Ask the students to write the questions on an index card or piece of paper that you will collect (anonymously). Let them know that you plan to help them to gain insights about their questions over the semester answering those you can and seeking input from campus community. This worked well today with my class!
- Remind students about confidential campus resources as needed.
Thank you to the many Edgewood faculty colleagues and leaders that contributed to this list of resources: President Flanagan, Tricia Dusick, Sayeeda Mamoon, Carolyn Field, Donna Vukelich-Selva, Huining Ouyang, Tony Garcia, Dean Pribbenow, Julie Dunbar, Kris Mickelson and Geoffery Adelsburg.
Indeed, it takes a village.
Co-Director, Center for Multicultural Education
CHARLOTTESVILLE FACULTY RESOURCES