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Staff and faculty affiliated with the Walter Commons for Global Study and Engagement and the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts stand in solidarity with protesters across the United States, and throughout the world, decrying the violence and social injustice inflicted on Black communities in America. The brutal murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and untold numbers of innocent Black men, women, and children before them, are horrific evidence of the racial injustice that has plagued American democracy since its very beginning. Global liberal education in pursuit of a more just, equitable, and sustainable world must include calling attention to the histories and contemporary realities of systemic racial inequities in the United States and globally.  Black lives matter.

While standing in solidarity is important, this moment demands action, not mere rhetorical gestures. To that end, we pledge to identify and enact concrete ways in which the Walter Commons and CISLA can best contribute to campus-wide efforts to combat the ignorance and apathy that allow racial prejudice and unexamined white privilege to fester on our campus and in our country. As part of this process, we will critically question our own norms, practices, and programming to uncover how our operations prop up and perpetuate institutional racism. We will pursue the goals of the DIEI Equity and Inclusion Action Plan with greater urgency, particularly our charge to enhance international and domestic student connections through engagement on issues related to racism. 
The mission of the Walter Commons calls us to advance dialogue and justice across disciplines, borders and boundaries, and we re-commit to fulfilling that mission now. To start, we offer this list of anti-racist resources around white privilege, which our staff and faculty are engaging with personally and as part of our preparation for revising our curricular and co-curricular programs. We are determined to do the work required at this historic moment to examine and dismantle the racist systems from which many of us have benefitted, and to dedicate ourselves now and in the future to the pressing work of anti-racist institutional and societal change. We humbly invite colleagues and students to join us in our work ahead and to offer suggestions for how we can improve. 

Amy Dooling
Andrea Lanoux
Betsy Lebel
Cara Masullo Ekwuabu
Cherise Harris
Laura Little
Lauren O’Leary
Leo Garofalo
Mary Devins
Melissa Ryan
Shirley Parson
Sufia Uddin

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Walter Commons · Blaustein Humanities Center · 270 Mohegan Ave · New London, CT 06320 · USA

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