MCE Supports BIPOC Students, Staff and Faculty
Dear MCE Community,
The past weeks have again demonstrated the continued necessity for action toward social justice and against racial violence. We live and learn in a time of on-going tragedy marked most recently by mass shootings in Atlanta, Boulder, and Indianapolis, the police-shootings and deaths of Adam Toledo in Chicago and Daunte Wright outside of Minneapolis, and the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. These tragedies are pressing upon our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Together we struggle to make sense of the role of a college focused on education, mental health, and information science in supporting our BIPOC community and building a better world.
We write to you today to provide resources of support, engagement, and action toward addressing systemic racism and building a better world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
For those in our community who might appreciate specific mental health support, we want you to know about services available to members of the DU Community.
For those who would like to engage with other members of the MCE Community in providing peer-to-peer support, processing current events, and/or just desire a space to be in community rather than alone right now, we want you to know about these organized meetups and conversations that have been planned across the College. These include program/department specific groupings, student affinity groups, and a special student-to-student only group organized by COESA.
For those who want to participate in one or more of the newly forming MCE DEI Council Task Forces, including a specific task force to address support and success of BIPOC students, we want you to know about these on-going action groups that are designing and implementing new reforms, practices, and programs to help MCE better live its mission and continue creating an intentional culture that values diversity, equity, and inclusivity as we battle against racial discrimination, inequality, and dehumanization.
We recognize each individual incident of gun violence, police violence, and racialized violence is but symptoms of broader systemically designed problems related to the white supremacist and settler colonial foundations of our country and the global economic system. Within these systems of oppression, it is evident that different cultural communities are impacted differentially, and by design, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are particularly targeted for discrimination and systemic disadvantage.
We categorically denounce white supremacy and settler colonialism.
At the same time, we recognize that higher education and the University of Denver itself, were founded and established through practices and policies that benefitted from and perpetuated these systems of oppression. Any effort to engender equity and subvert foundational inequality at interpersonal, organizational, and systemic levels of influence will most likely be insufficient, particularly in light of the generational pain, harm, and dehumanization that historically marginalized communities – and BIPOC in particular – have endured. The collective trauma and grief that our BIPOC community members are acutely experiencing right now is a clarion call for immediate and on-going redress that we are committed to collaboratively supporting. Over the rest of Spring Quarter, we commit to informing the MCE Community of our on-going efforts to support, engage, and take action in making progress toward serving our BIPOC community members. BIPOC students, staff, and faculty deserve the best of MCE and our best must continue to get better.
We hope you will join us in the ways you find meaningful and rewarding. We are dedicated to making MCE a stronghold of social justice, which means we will continue to take action, reflect, take stock, and return to action. Such is our social justice praxis.
The Morgridge College of Education