Campus News

Black Faculty and Staff Lead Teach-In

November 19, 2015
Communications Staff
6 professors holding handwritten signs. Complete text follows.
From left to right: Afia Ofori-Mensa, Charles Peterson, Justin Emeka '95, Pam Brooks, Rashelle Peck, and Yveline Alexis. Photo credit: Jeong Hyun Hwang

Photo Description

Six black faculty and staff members are pictured, each holding a handwritten sign as follows:

  • Afia Ofori-Mensa: Incentivize taking care of ourselves & each other #YourLifeMatters
  • Charles Peterson: White supremacy is a white problem too!
  • Justin Emeka: Black is universal
  • Pam Brooks: Increase Pell grants
  • Rashelle Peck: #AllBlackLivesMatter #Mizzou #Solidarity
  • Yveline Alexis: #Kudos to the football team for taking a stand. Keep #BlackLivesMatter going!

Article Body

On November 18, students, staff, and faculty packed Nancy Schrom Dye Lecture Hall for a black faculty- and staff-led teach-in to discuss the state of black life within and out of the context of higher education and recent events. The teach-in offered an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students of color to voice their thoughts and concerns about the recent events at the University of Missouri, Yale University, Ithaca College, Claremont McKenna College, and other campuses across the nation. Also addressed were the systemic problems, practices, and policies in higher education and possible steps forward for Oberlin to become more inclusive and diverse as a community and institution.

In an open letter written by faculty members of color and signed by roughly 100 faculty and staff of color, they stressed that these conversations and actions must continue in order for change to occur.

“While the current unrest on campuses arises from ongoing challenges in higher education to promote and achieve diversity, it is also informed by recent developments that have lain bare the persistence of racial inequality in America. We are in a moment where we can neither afford to deny our failures to achieve equality and justice, nor rest in our pursuit of these goals.”

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