Written by the Center for International Affairs in June 2020
The Center for International Affairs unequivocally condemns all forms of racism—individual, structural, and systemic—as a humanitarian crisis that we have failed to acknowledge for far too long. We condemn police brutality, the killing of Black and Brown people, and the injustices that Black and Brown people face. We support the current civil rights movement in the United States known as the Black Lives Matter movement, and we commit to further anti-racist work on an individual, departmental, and institutional level.
The global response in solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement reveals the full reach of racism, and the current national and international protests reflect this as a national and global movement. International education, at its core, focuses on developing global citizens who embody a mutual understanding and appreciation of all people, with a goal of building relationships and connections worldwide. The Center for International Affairs has an opportunity and an obligation to address issues of racial injustice both within our office, within the Case Western Reserve University community, and in our broader global community.
We recognize that statements are meaningful, but that powerful and positive change is a result of purposeful actions. The Center for International Affairs believes that each individual can make a positive contribution to improving the lives of Black and Brown students, faculty, and staff on our campus and in the global community. We will join with the broader Case Western Reserve initiatives to fight injustice on our campus. In order to affect change, the Center for International Affairs pledges to:
- Acknowledge that racism is embedded into our organizational structures and acknowledge that this is a societal and global problem, and that we, as a Center, need to continuously educate ourselves so that we can be agents of positive and impactful transformation.
- Listen to our Black, Brown, and International students, faculty, and staff to understand their experiences on our campus. We seek to learn from their experiences and be more inclusive in order to contribute to making our campus a more welcoming, healthy, and anti-racist community for them and all others from around the world.
- Host a series of campus dialogues to discuss the intersection between internationalization and multicultural education and how this impacts the Case Western Reserve community both on our campus and abroad. Information about our dialogue series is forthcoming.
- Expand the #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU and #WelcomeHereWednesday campaign by investing in positive, tangible changes to help make our campus a safer and more welcoming place for our students of color and our international students. Our latest installment of the #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU video can be found here.
- Continue to ensure that our education abroad opportunities are accessible to all of our students who are underrepresented in study abroad, providing more support and working to reduce barriers.
We recognize that combating racism is life-long work and that we must continually be vigilant as we learn, listen, and take action. We pledge to measure ourselves as we fight injustice, racism, and discrimination so that we make our Center and our campus a safe, welcoming, and equal environment where every member of our community, regardless of race, religion, gender, or socio-economic status, can thrive.