Statement from the Institute for Dialogue & Social Justice

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dear students, colleagues, and community partners:

In memory of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many Black lives lost to police brutality, we, the faculty of the Institute for Dialogue and Social Justice, remain united in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and categorically condemn the continued anti-Black racism in our criminal justice system. At the same time, we recognize that racism is pervasive and systemic throughout many other social institutions, including higher education. Thus, we are committed to doing our parts to address racism in all of its visible and invisible forms. We recognize that reforming the criminal justice system is just the first step in dismantling racialized systems of power that have done unquantifiable damage to our communities of color and our nation as a whole. As teacher-scholars, we strive to enact anti-racist practices while taking time to be critically reflexive about how we can create safer and/or braver spaces and empower our students to advocate for social justice. In the process, we vow to keep learning from any failures along the way, which is as an essential component of forging solidarity and engaging in anti-racist education and praxis.

Part of the core mission of the Institute is to facilitate broad recognition that inequities and injustices pervade the lives of SDSU faculty, staff, students, and members of our surrounding communities. With these realities in mind, we remain steadfast and renew our commitment to promoting dialogue and social change within our community for a more racially just, inclusive, connected, and compassionate world. We take heart from the passion and commitment of the protesters and will continue to support, listen to, and show up for our community members. We understand that promoting social justice means actively fighting against racism and inequality in all forms. We believe dialogue is a crucial step towards social change, and we remain committed to listening to important yet silenced truths that indict ourselves and the social systems we are a part of.

As a cross-disciplinary entity housed within the SDSU School of Communication, the Institute upholds the Core Values of the School of Communication:

  • Advance Knowledge
  • Promote Fairness, Respect, & Justice
  • Foster Relationships
  • Enhance the Public Good

In the coming year, we will be incorporating these values as we enact the mission of the Institute for Dialogue and Social Justice to address ongoing injustices and harms, promoting dialogue that both recognizes and moves toward equity and inclusion. If you are interested in joining our efforts or collaborating with the Institute, please contact Dr. Yea-Wen Chen at [email protected] or Dr. Lisa Gates at [email protected].

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