The St. John’s University School of Education condemns any form of systemic, overt, covert or structural racism. We have a responsibility as a Vincentian Institution to eradicate all forms of racism and ethnic oppression. Our vision in the School of Education is to promote “excellence and innovation in socially responsible education that fosters intellectual curiosity, advocacy, and leadership in the local and global communities we serve.”
Although these statements are significant, we recognize that change involves challenging and intentional work. The School of Education has an opportunity and obligation to address racist ideas, policies, and practices within our offices, the St. John’s University community, and our global community. The School of Education believes that every individual should make a significant contribution to building a community that embodies our Vincentian core values. Thus, the School of Education will use this moment to allow deep, impactful, sustainable change. We are committed to doing the work required to identify, discuss, and challenge any racist policies, ideologies, and practices that negatively impact how we engage with students, faculty, and staff in an effort to move forward as an institution that is culturally inclusive and free from racism.
Beginning immediately, we are launching an antiracist action plan, outlined below, to help provide the welcoming, accepting, and just environment within the School of Education. Systemic racism cannot continue. And together, we can help to ensure that it does not continue at St. John’s.
In his book, How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi, Ph.D., provides a perspective on what it means to be an antiracist by first defining the below terms:
An antiracist policy is any written or hidden rules, laws, procedures, process, regulation, or guideline that governs people. Every policy in our institution (including in The School of Education) produces or sustains racial inequity or equity between groups.
The below recommendations are concrete actions The School of Education will take to analyze and change the hidden and written polices or practices that do not move us forward to becoming an antiracist institution.
Annual Faculty Activity Report due to the Dean’s office in May of 2021
Goal 1: To provide technology-enriched academic programs, and innovative, flexible, scholarly pedagogical experiences that will ensure 100 percent of The School of Education’s graduates will enter the profession fully prepared to advocate for equitable social change.
Goal 2: To effectively integrate technology into a learning design that creates an active student learning experience.
Goal 3: To produce the highest quality of innovative research and scholarly activity that promotes equity and access.
Goal 4: To enhance our ability to become an antiracist College within St. John’s University.
As the Dean of the School of Education, I want to express my gratitude and acknowledge the members of the Antiracist committee who was essential in developing a comprehensive action plan that will move the School of Education forward. I am so grateful to their leadership and look forward to working with them in the future to assess our progress but more importantly to challenge us to continue to strive for excellence.