This is enough.
The deep, gaping wounds in our country stemming from centuries of racist ideology and practices have resulted in the senseless murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and too many others from the Black community at the hands of law enforcement. The dehumanization that stems from “othering” one another has led us to this painful and pivotal moment in our history. Our Black family members, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and fellow citizens are suffering and not safe, and treated as if they don’t matter. For those of us outside this community, the time to act is now.
The GGSC Education team stands by the Black community—seeing and supporting every member in their full humanity.
We are committed to doing our part in eradicating dehumanization in our society by promoting, practicing, and embracing research-informed anti-racist practices and beliefs. We start by acknowledging systemic barriers like poverty, inequitable opportunities, and racist institutional policies. These barriers not only exist in society broadly, but are deeply ingrained in our school system, as well. Though such barriers may seem insurmountable, we must work toward dismantling them; we must also change the hearts of people—starting with ourselves by unearthing unconscious biases, stereotypes, and racist thinking.
To that end, the GGSC Education team commits to:
- Applying an anti-racist lens to our work in social-emotional learning, mindfulness, and character education.
- Acknowledging the limits of our awareness as educators and researchers.
- Engaging in continual and lifelong learning in our field to address racism in our work as teachers and researchers.
- Embracing a strengths-based, student- and healing-centered approach to learning and development that serves as a counter to deficit thinking and exclusionary discipline practices.
- Incorporating trauma-sensitive practices and approaches in our work to foster safety and a sense of belonging in classrooms and schools.
- Acknowledging implicit bias as a barrier in anti-racist education by engaging in and promoting practices that enhance self-awareness and social awareness.
- Prioritizing teacher burnout as a potential barrier to anti-racist education by providing science-based practices for developing educators’ social-emotional competence, well-being, and resilience.
- Deepening empathy, compassion, and relationship skills by offering practices for staff and students designed to build trust and bridge differences.
We strive for intellectual humility—both personally and professionally. We also humbly stand next to educators around the country and the world who are taking action to undo the racism within themselves, encouraging their colleagues to do the same, and teaching and supporting their students in forming anti-racist identities.
We have compiled a list of resources to assist educators in this crucial work, and invite you to share your reflections and learning with us so that we may all become better human beings.
As UC Berkeley professor john a. powell wisely said at the GGSC’s recent Bridging Differences conference:
We are conflicted inside ourselves, which we almost never talk about, and we project that out. Part of the struggle is not just “getting along” or “fixing the other person,” but getting along with different aspects of ourselves. So this becomes not just a political or psychological journey, but a profoundly spiritual journey.
We are committed to this journey.