Dear Region II Members,
The NASPA Region II Advisory Board supports NASPA’s statement about racial violence released on May 28, 2020. In the twenty-two days since that statement was released, the U.S. media’s bright spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement is beginning to dim. However, the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others continue to weigh heavily on the daily lives of Student Affairs professionals. We must acknowledge that this burden is felt most acutely by our Black colleagues, family members, and friends. The fight for justice being played out in community protests, in city council hearings, and on our campuses remain vibrant, and loud, and necessary. This struggle was felt long before 2020 and will continue long past this calendar year.
In the May 28th statement, NASPA President Kevin Kruger called on NASPA’s “White members to step up, commit to anti-racism work, and engage in action-oriented solutions that address the system and institutional control that insulates us from this race-based stress”. As Region II plans for the future our locally-based social justice work, we encourage our members to take advantage of the following dialogues co-hosted by the NASPA Board of Directors and the NASPA Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice Division:
· June 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET: Care and Healing for Black Student Affairs Professionals (we will have one dialogue for Black SA Pros and one for non-Black SA Pros seeking to be allies)
· July 9, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET: Confronting Whiteness in Student Affairs Work (we will have one space for White SA Pros and one for BIPOC SA Pros)
· July 16, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET: Supporting Student Activism and Organizing during a Pandemic
· July 23, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET: Policing On Campus
· August 6, 4:00-5:00 p.m. ET: Advocating for DEI Resources during Pandemic Budget and Campus Planning
We also want to acknowledge and celebrate that today is Juneteenth. It is an annual commemoration of the freeing of the last enslaved African Americans in Texas on June 19, 1865. We hope our members will be able to dedicate time today to reflect on this important celebration and its place in our recent history. In recognition of Juneteenth, we invite you to share a commitment with your fellow Region II members on social media. It could be a commitment to your local community, your work as a Student Affairs professional, or your role in dismantling the broken system of racial injustice in which we live. Tag your posts with #NASPA2Commits.
In Solidarity with Our Black Members, Colleagues, and Loved Ones,
Terry Martinez, NASPA Region II Director, on behalf of the Region II Advisory Board