Statement of Commitment to Racial Justice
The Office of Student Outreach and Support is steadfast in our commitment to equity, dignity, and respect and we stand in support and solidarity with our Black students and colleagues across the University. We mourn the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Riah Milton, Rayshard Brooks, Dominique Fells, as well as countless other Black lives, many of whom we do not know, due to centuries of racialized violence against Black people.
As an office of two white people, we understand we cannot be silent about, or complicit with, the systemic racism that our Black students and colleagues have persistently experienced. We acknowledge that a culture that is permeated by the insidious ideals of white supremacy only serves to reinforce systemic inequality, and contributes to the ongoing trauma, pain and fear experienced by Black, Indigenous and People of Color, as well as those from marginalized and historically oppressed populations. We commit to raise our voice and act against injustice as we strive to provide compassionate support and intersectional advocacy. Our Office’s core function, and the grounding center of our work, is to be a resource to students facing barriers to their ability to persist and thrive at Georgetown. We commit to working towards the removal of barriers in order to serve students with cultural competence, humility, and respect. We acknowledge that it is ON US to earn and keep your trust.
The Office of Student Outreach and Support is called to act and we will hold ourselves individually and collectively accountable. We take responsibility for:
- Posting a list of completed and upcoming trainings and professional development experiences related to diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and anti-racism
- Crafting annual professional goals, both as individuals and as an Office, related to diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism
- Dedicating time in our weekly staff meetings to “Saying and Knowing Their Names” — sharing narratives, reading, reflecting and wrestling with what we know and do not know about the Black lives that have been taken as a result of institutionalized police violence and brutality
- Scheduling a consultation with the Office of Student Equity and Inclusion, before the start of AY20-21, to review the Office’s practices and policies and ensure their alignment with the wider equity and inclusion initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs and University at-large
- Knowing and staying current with research related to the health disparities amongst different cultural and racial groups. This includes staying well-informed regarding cultural influences on help-seeking behavior, and cross-cultural experiences of psychological or psychiatric care. We endeavor to work with students to find the most comfortable and authentic resources for them, based on their individual preferences and circumstances
This statement is an “active and dynamic document” and will serve as a record of our work in this regard. We commit to full transparency with students and constituents and will provide monthly updates on our website. We recognize that there is much work to be done. The commitments and action steps outlined here are a starting point, and are not a reflection of a finished product.
Black Lives Matter.