Black Lives Matter: In Support and Self-Reflection
June 5, 2020
A collective message from members of the Eagleton Institute faculty and staff:
We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. These words are too late and too little to save them and the thousands of other Black Americans who have been unjustly murdered, arrested, incarcerated, or subjected to racial violence throughout American history.
We are deeply disturbed and heartbroken at the loss of life that we have witnessed in our country. Our commitment is to speak and act to prevent further violence against our fellow Americans and to stand in solidarity with the protesters demanding an end to systemic racism and police brutality. Black Lives Matter.
We are inspired by the young people, including some of our students, faculty, and staff, who are speaking up across our country and in our community. Their voices seeking the core ideals of American democracy-freedom, equality, and justice for all-ring loud and clear. These voices represent the change we seek.
In this moment, we acknowledge the inequities in our institution, on our campus, and in our politics. The pain of these disparities is real. The fear within our communities is real. The anger across our society is real. The need for our action is real.
In 1944, with World War II raging in the background, Florence Peshine Eagleton, a suffragist and social activist, penned the ambitious goal that guides the Institute’s work to this day: “the development of and education for responsible leadership in civic and governmental affairs and the solution of their political problems.” We reaffirm our commitment to advance this goal and support our country.
As individuals and as an institution, we have a shared responsibility to fight institutional and structural racism and discrimination in all forms. We also have a responsibility to not only condemn white supremacy, but to actively disrupt the institutions that further it. We pledge to continue to do everything within our power to further the cause of strengthening civil society and fostering a just and inclusive democracy. In the coming weeks, months, and years, we will take steps to reassert the goal of providing education for responsible leadership and political participation.
Right now, we turn a critical eye to ourselves. What will we do to help end systemic racism and discrimination? How can we do more to open doors for students? What core values guide-and should guide-our organization and our institutional efforts to study politics, inspire engagement, and improve democracy? How will we put these values into practice across our organization?
We are committed to answering these questions and to holding ourselves accountable today and over the long term. As a first step in the coming days, we will reach out to our students, alumni, and community to listen and learn and to invite them to share their thoughts, experiences, and ideas. Simultaneously, we are beginning the hard work of self-reflection and action toward eliminating systemic racism wherever we find it-beginning at home.
These are just the first steps to put our mission into more perfect practice, and to forge a more just future together as a community, and as a country.
Richard H. Bagger
Susan J. Carroll
Joseph V. Doria, Jr.
Anna M. Dulencin
John J. Farmer, Jr.
Elizabeth C. Matto
Peter J. McDonough, Jr.
Maggie M. Moran
William J. Young