The Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Honors and Celebrates Black History Month 2023
We enter into Black History Month 2023 with heavy hearts as we mourn the recent deaths of Tyre Nichols, Anthony Lowe, and Karon Blake. (Alert: the following links provide context and details regarding the tragic deaths of Tyre Nichols, Anthony Lowe, and Karon Blake). With each name of a precious life lost, we continue to witness a society’s refusal to see and honor the humanity of Black people and those deadly consequences. Black History Month represents far more than the suffering of diverse, diasporic Black people, and yet we must recognize that freedom, achievement, community, culture, identity, and the exercise of rights must start with the basic ability of Black people to be safe in their own bodies.
Beginning with the chattel enslavement of Black people in the United States, we recognize that safety has been elusive. From the physical attacks on Black bodies, to the intellectual attacks that deny humanity and history, including the recent proposed changes to College Board’s Advanced Placement African American History course, we recognize and condemn these continued assaults.
And yet, we take this time in February to recognize not just the conditions in which Black people exist, but the communities, brilliance, love, and joy that a community creates. Far too often justice is seen as reactive, but what if in The New School community it could be proactive? What if we created safe intellectual and physical spaces that removed barriers, embraced inclusion, and recognized the individual and institutional charges necessary for true equity, inclusion, and social justice? This Black History Month, we encourage all of us to remember the diverse history of people of the African Diaspora, reconcile the current conditions, and imagine brilliant futures.
Remembering, Processing, and Holding Community – Sloan Leo, Founder, Flox Studio, will facilitate a processing session on the recent murders and ongoing assaults on Black people and Black identity within the United States.
Black History Month 2023 Event
As part of The New School’s Black History Month celebration the Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice will continue the EISJ Series announced in President McBride’s community message that will critically interrogate the United States Constitution through a lens of inclusion and human rights. The Office invites you to join us for a program that will interrogate the status and impact of the legal rights provided under the United States Constitution, as well as the concomitant economic, political, social and cultural rights and creative freedom and practices that are essential for members of Black community to access, exercise, and protect their rights and the rights of all who reside in the United States.
Human Rights Essential for a 21st Century United States Democracy – Keisha Gaskins-Nathan, Director for the Democratic Practice–United States program and the Racial Justice Initiative at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
The Matter of Black Lives – Jelani Cobb, PhD, Dean, Columbia School of Journalism in conversation with Renée T. White, PhD, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Professor of Sociology at The New School.
Please watch for registration links to the aforementioned events.