A Message to the Community

June 9, 2020

We are gripped with outrage at the injustice and violence surrounding George Floyd’s murder and so many other Black men and women whose lives were taken unjustly. As a land-grant college of education, we have a unique responsibility to speak up and use our voice to call for justice.

To our Black community members: Your lives matter. Your experiences matter. Your voice matters. We acknowledge the pain, anger and exhaustion our Black students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners have been experiencing, as well as the role that education has played in contributing to injustices and inequalities. Though education has the power to do tremendous good, we also know it can fall short. We are determined to do good.

Racism and injustice require action from all of us. As a college, we are committed to doing all we can to address racism and advance a diverse, inclusive and supportive culture not only within our college and at NC State but also across the entire field of education.

We are reaffirming and intensifying the core of our college’s mission:

The College of Education is a voice of innovation for learning across the lifespan. We prepare professionals who educate and lead. Our inquiry and practice reflect integrity, a commitment to social justice and the value of diversity in a global community.

Specifically, with this mission as our guide, we are strengthening our commitment and seeking new ways to eradicate racism and other forms of oppression within our college, within our university and across educational settings. Through the educators we prepare, the research we conduct and the outreach we provide, we will work harder to champion the educational success of all learners, especially those from minoritized groups and low-wealth communities.

In addition to actively supporting the steps the university is taking to build a more diverse and inclusive environment, we as a college are implementing several catalyzing actions, including the following:

  • Establishing initiatives and enacting practices in our college to more fully engage in anti-racist education
  • Holding listening and sharing sessions with our faculty, staff, and students
  • Reviewing and analyzing college rules and regulations to ensure inclusivity and equity
  • Increasing the number of students we recruit, support, and graduate from underrepresented groups

This is a pivotal moment in our nation’s history, and it is urgent we do more and we do better now. Our college will strive every day to do so. This work — and the work of all educators — could never be more important.

In solidarity,

Mary Ann Danowitz, Dean
Aaron Clark, Head, Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education
Lilia Collazo, Assistant Dean for Finance and Business
John K. Lee, Head, Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences and Interim Head, Department of Educational Leadership, Policy, and Human Development
Hiller A. Spires, Associate Dean and Executive Director of the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation
Lee V. Stiff, Associate Dean for Faculty and Academic Affairs
Paola Sztajn, Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
Anona Smith Williams, Associate Dean for Student Success and Strategic Community Engagement