I applaud the many CIHS students, faculty, and administrators, who are speaking out about the American tragedy that is the barbaric homicide of George Floyd. Peacefully protesting (pro-attesting) the massive need for social change that these events confront us with advances CIHS’ mission that includes working toward a sustainable, peaceful and consciously evolving global society.
America’s founding documents are an inspiration around the world to those who yearn for egalitarian democracy. Those documents created the space for the equally inspiring movement toward civil rights that has been progressing since the US’ founding through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and much needed to continue through today; A movement that has been necessary because of the scourge of racial injustice that has also plagued America since its founding.
As academic leaders, we consider the words of other academic leaders in relevant fields. Dr. Cornel West, Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University, was interviewed on CNBC on 6/1/2020, and he stated that we must have a spiritual, moral, and democratic awakening among all citizens who care. Recognizing that we are going to disagree in the public square, he noted that we must also recognize that we are losing our democracy if we become a society that can no longer mobilize the best models of our past; be it Abraham Lincoln, Frederic Douglas, Walt Whitman, Toni Morrison, or Martin Luther King. Prof. West challenged us to ask ourselves, do we have what it takes? Aware that we have been through so much hatred, he inspired us to remember that we have always produced love warriors. Echoing Benjamin Franklin, he implored us to hang together or we shall surely hang separately.
Thomas Brophy, Ph.D.