The tragic and senseless murders of Black people across our country over the past several centuries, but most recently with George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, indicate that we still have much work to do and that at this point not every Black life matters. As educators, we have responsibility to seek and teach justice, to call out injustice, and to lead our students and colleagues to a better tomorrow where every Black life will finally matter.
The Colleges That Change Lives Board of Directors believes that through education comes change. And while change will be different for every individual, in our country’s current state, change is long overdue. Change must happen now, and we each have a responsibility and role to play in that change moving forward.
We implore students and educators, both within our organization and across the country, to do more, do better — to speak up in the face of injustice and to lead the change starting now. This change may come in the form of reading and learning, watching videos and listening to podcasts, voting, donating, peacefully protesting, listening and talking. No matter what action you take, please, take action, as words are not enough. You may just change — or even save — a life.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community as they demand justice — just as we do.
Many of us in education turn to books when we are lost or hurt or desire to understand more about complex issues. Consider these suggested readings and materials as opportunities to educate yourself to become a more informed and supportive colleague, citizen, and human as we work together to heal and grow and eliminate the systemic racism in our country.
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
Citizen: An American Lyric – Claudia Rankine
The Fire Next Time – James Baldwin
The Fire This Time – Jesmyn Ward
Heavy: An American Memoir – Kiese Laymon
How to be an Antiracist – Ibram X Kendi
The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
They Can’t Kill Us All – Wesley Lowery
White Fragility – Robin Diangelo
White Rage – Carol Anderson
We support our students, faculty, colleagues, staff, alumni, and supporters of color. For close to 25 years, we have touted our institutions as places that change lives. Let’s live it, not say it.