I am holding multiple emotions just a few days shy of the #CharlestonShooting that took place at the AME church, taking the lives of nine people. I grew up in the South and spent my childhood hearing stories such as these from my grandfather. I never thought (perhaps naively) that I would be living in a time where this type of hate and violence would become a reality.
Like many of you I’m on a break from the academic year. This is typically a time where I rejuvenate and self-care as well as plan my campus work for the upcoming year. Unfortunately due to what feels like daily reports of violence and racism, I am regularly fatigued, frustrated and worried about the upcoming year. How will I be ready to support my students given all that is going on?
Also like many of you I’m in the middle of a job search process where I will likely be joining a new campus in a new position not only as a social justice educator, but also as a campus leader. As I interview for positions I am regularly asked to provide my vision of a socially just campus and/or how I plan to create change on a campus. In full transparency, it’s getting harder and harder to answer these questions.
Lastly, I am three months into my position as Chair for the Commission for Social Justice Educators. I feel that I, along with the Directorate, have a responsibility to you all to address incidents such as #CharlestonShooting as well as provide resources or spaces of dialogue. As a Commission we have been silent and I will take responsibility for that. We need to do better. We need to do more.
I want to open a line of communication for you to tell us as the Directorate leadership team, what is on your mind? What is it that you, your students or your campus need right now? How can CSJE be more of a support to you?
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Dre Domingue, Ed.D.
Chair, Commission for Social Justice Educators