It is hard to find the right words to express the anger, grief, and sadness many of us are feeling today. Alton Sterling and Philando Castile are now counted among the 509 people who have been killed by police in the United States in 2016.
As student affairs educators, we have the opportunity to care for and support our colleagues, and our students. And we must remember to take care of ourselves.
It is time for us to fully center the lives of our Black colleagues, friends, and families, and use our voices to create change. We welcome your reflections, which will be posted here. Over the coming weeks, we’ll share large and small ways we can each create change.
Our jobs call us into healing space and into courage at contested places during tragedy. Sometimes that means that we “shelve” our own grief and anger so we can be of service and support to our students and colleagues. We invite you to join us in sharing rather than shelving, finding a way where there seems to be none. In the final analysis, each one of us has the capacity to respect human dignity and to reject anything that diminishes one another.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will continue to develop and centralize resources. If you have one to share, please send it to Tricia Fechter Gates. For now, it is most important for us to remind our Black colleagues, friends, and families that you matter. You matter to us. And we are with you.
Stephen John Quaye
Former Executive Director