NYU Silver SJPC Responds to Latest Wave of Anti-Black Violence
On May 31, 2020, NYU Silver’s Social Justice Praxis Committee issued the following a statement and call for action:
Dear NYU Silver Community,
We, as members of the NYU Silver School of Social Work’s Social Justice Praxis Committee (SJPC), are saddened and outraged by the recent brutal murders of Black individuals resulting from a long-standing history of anti-black white terrorism. We mourn and celebrate the lives of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year old Black man shot to death by white supremacists while jogging in Glynn County, Georgia; Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old Black Emergency Medical Technician shot to death by police who entered her apartment unannounced in Louisville, KY; Tony McDade, a 38-year old Black transgender man shot to death by police in Tallahassee, FL; and George Floyd, a 46-year old Black security officer who was murdered under the knee of officers who pressed down until his very last breath in Minneapolis, MN. These killings represent only a few of the many Black lives murdered at the hands of state-sanctioned racial violence and oppression.
These murders also occurred alongside a pandemic that is devastating Black communities disproportionately. We know these and other injustices are products of white supremacy and systemic racism and oppression that are deeply ingrained in our society and in our profession. By facing these ugly truths of our past and present, we can begin the process of creating justice and equity for all. But, awareness is not enough. What drew many of us to social work is the fight for social justice. We all need to join in this fight, as Black lives depend on it.
We are asking the NYU Silver community--our faculty, students, staff, and alumni--to join the SJPC in fighting for social justice and change. The mission of the SJPC is to develop and implement strategies and tactics of action to uphold the social justice mission of Silver and the profession. Together, we must take a strong anti-racist stance against racial violence and oppression. We must push past the comfort of silence and complacency, especially white people, and be at the forefront of social justice and change. Let’s unite and work toward change collectively and individually by taking some of these steps below:
1. Engage in Social Justice Change at NYU Silver and the University
a. Help organize and participate in dialogues at Silver within and across identities:
i. Students and Alumni of Color Check-In (those who self-identify as African/African American/Black/Caribbean, Arab/Arab American/Middle Eastern, Asian/Asian American/Pacific Islander/Desi, Bi/Multiracial, Latinx, Native American/Indigenous) - Tuesday, June 2, at 6:00PM EST RSVP HERE l Contact: Angie Kim firstname.lastname@example.org or Richeleen Dashield email@example.com
b. Join and advance NYU Silver’s Action Against Racism efforts to address racism and promote a more inclusive and equitable community.
c. Participate in events and trainings at NYU’s Center for Multicultural Education and Programs and NYU's Global Inclusion and Diversity.
2. Non-Black People of Color & White People: Challenge Your Own Racism and that of Others
a. Educate yourself and stay informed. Engage with current and historical works, such as:
iii. 1619 Project
viii. 13th documentary
b. Organize and participate in within-identity group spaces to gain self-awareness around implicit and explicit biases and participation in upholding and strategies to dismantle white supremacy. For example, participate in NYU’s White Administrators Talk Race (Click “apply for membership” All those who “apply” will be added to the email list) or organize a group to implement Layla Saad’s Me and White Supremacy Workbook challenge.
c. Engage in racial justice work. Locate resources on how to be involved (e.g., A Guide to Being an Ally; 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice; 6 Things White People Can Do To Reach Friends and Family Members to End Racism).
e. Raise awareness and talk about/acknowledge ongoing and historical roots of racial violence and oppression of Black and Brown communities with family, friends, colleagues, peers, students, etc
f. Challenge and address acts of racism and oppression
3. Contact Your Members of Congress
a. Contact your Congressional representative to endorse the resolution introduced by Congresswomen Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Ilhan Omar (MN-05), in partnership with Congresswoman Karen Bass (CA-37), Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) denouncing police brutality, racial profiling, and use of excessive force.
4. Make a Donation to Memorial and Bailout Funds
b. Minnesota Freedom Fund
c. I Run with Maud - Justice for Ahmaud Arbery Fundraiser
d. National Bailout Funds - Free Black Mamas
h. MPD150 (People’s Project Evaluating Policing)
j. Northstar Health (Mutual Aid MN)
5. Support Organizations and Groups Working Towards Change
b. Race Forward
Let us stand united as a community in our shared fight for justice. To learn more about the SJPC and to find out how you can be involved, contact Richeleen Dashield (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or Marya Gwadz (email@example.com), Co-Chairs of the SJPC.
Members of the Social Justice Praxis Committee
Dean Neil B. Guterman
Maria Apuzzo-Okon (DSW student)
Candace Barrow (MSW student)
Hosannah Bryan (Staff Volunteer)
Linda Lausell Bryant (Faculty)
Gerri Cadet (Student Emeritus)
Doris Chang (Faculty)
Celine Chong (BS student)
Richeleen Dashield (Staff)
Grace DeFino (Staff Volunteer)
Laura Esquivel (Student Emeritus)
Christine Ferrara (Staff Volunteer)
Julie Finefrock (Student Emeritus Volunteer)
Susan Gerbino (Faculty)
Sita Goetschius (Staff)
Ernest Gonzales (Faculty)
Associate Dean for Research Marya Gwadz (Faculty)
Aminda Heckman (Faculty)
Kirk "Jae" James (Faculty)
Angie Kim (Staff)
Tang En Koh (MSW student)
Akirah Limthaveemongkol (Student Emeritus)
Rachel Ludeke (PhD student)
Jennifer Manuel (Faculty)
Darcey Merritt (Faculty)
Michael Montero (MSW student)
Kiara Moore (Faculty)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs Courtney O’Mealley (Staff)
Krushika Uday Patankar (Student Emeritus Volunteer)
Jose Rodriguez (Student Emeritus Volunteer)
Alison Rose (Staff)
Michael Sanders (Student Emeritus)
Casey Scott (MSW student)
Kathrine Sullivan (Faculty)
Talia Tiffany (Student Emeritus)
The Social Justice Praxis Committee, composed of Silver School faculty, students, and staff, serves as a catalyst for development, implementation, and assessment of a comprehensive strategy and tactics of action to address social justice, equity, and inclusion at the Silver School.