Most of us can admit that 2020 has been an unprecedented year, and not the way we wanted to ring in a new decade. Over the last few months, our world has been shattered with the spread of COVID-19, physical distancing, and stay-at-home orders. Despite having to endure a global health crisis, we have witnessed that racism and white supremacy do not rest. We are deeply saddened and troubled by the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and others whose stories have not made national headlines or were not recorded. As a community, we are mourning the loss of those who have been killed as a result of police violence and commit ourselves to speaking out against these heinous acts.
SCCPA condemns acts of racism, police brutality, historic and systemic violence, white supremacy, and any other forms of oppression. COVID-19 has exacerbated racism in our country (recognizing Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities have been disproportionately affected by the virus) but issues of anti-black racism and police violence are intertwined with the nation’s history. Policing, as a system, was designed to exert control over enslaved Africans seeking freedom. From there, we can look to public lynchings, convict leasing, and mass incarceration to better understand the insidious nature of policing today. We understand and feel the desperation, fatigue, and brokenheartedness that our nation is feeling right now, and want to reiterate that Black Lives Matter.
We want to commend the leadership and activism of various institutions across the nation who have spoken out against acts of violence targeting the Black community. We applaud our student leaders for challenging us and directing our focus toward humanity and the need to reform our institutional landscapes for minoritized communities to flourish in their pursuit of excellence. This challenge urges us to disrupt cycles of oppression in housing, employment, education, healthcare, and other unjust histories, legacies, and legalities in our nation and our institutions.
As a primary resource for student affairs professionals in the state, with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, we strive to:
- Serve as college student advocates, dedicated to dismantling inequity in academia, research, policies, practices, and interactions on our campuses.
- Align SCCPA with the charge from our parent organization, ACPA, in the Strategic Imperative on Racial Justice and Decolonization.
- Foster intentional outreach, across the state, to professionals from various identities.
- Facilitate equity based programs and initiatives through our professional development series, Equity and Inclusion Institute, and drive-in conferences.
- Create space for professionals across the state to deepen their understanding and commitment to racial justice.
- Seek guidance and recommendations from our membership to do this work better and ensure we are meeting the needs of our constituents.
- Continue our efforts to provide education and advocacy by creating a page on our website to share resources, related upcoming events, and other contributions. We will provide more information in the coming weeks.
We look forward to working in coalition with our colleagues, leaders, and students.
South Carolina College Personnel Association Executive Board