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Our Call for Social Justice

Recognizing our Past and Present Culpabilities in this Acutely Unjust Moment  

As a part of WVU, ADVANCE is embedded in and benefits from systemic racism. Although we are a multi-racial team, the majority of us are white faculty. From this position of privilege, we, the white faculty on the ADVANCE team, acknowledge how those benefits accrue to us and include the luxury of safely ignoring the dangers our black and brown colleagues and their families face. 

We reject this benefit and call out the atrocities that are at the foundation of our country and institution. These include the genocide of native peoples and the enslavement and perpetual subjugation of black people for the purpose of institutionalizing white supremacy. 

We acknowledge how the inadequacy of our prior reactions to these historical traumas contribute to disparate health, education, and economic outcomes for black and brown people. Furthermore, we denounce police brutality and unwaveringly affirm that all lives can’t matter until BLACK LIVES MATTER.  

Committing Ourselves to Moving Forward Justly 

The WVU ADVANCE Center aims to improve the climate for all faculty and staff at WVU, yet an environment of equity and inclusivity does not exist for large portions of our WVU community.  
We commit to promote anti-racist education and policies on campus and within the broader community. These curricula and policies must be derived from our own anti-racist education and understanding and developed in collaboration with and responsive to our black and brown colleagues. 

We will continue to conduct impactful research on racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, and effective responses to acts of injustice. 

We will encourage dialogue with colleagues, friends, and family about the gravity of the social trauma our black and brown community members endure. In facilitating dialogue, we will always invite black and brown colleagues to share their knowledge and wisdom, but with the understanding that re-voicing traumatic experiences may re-introduce trauma. Thus, we will not ask others to do the work for us. We must take the responsibility to bring these changes forward, but carefully and responsively. 

We will promote a climate of community, justice, and love, working against the traditional antiseptic systems of scholarly hierarchy and competition. Now, more than ever, we see the need to support one another.