The murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, as well as the murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many others, sparked movement on our campuses, local communities, and the national stage. On June 2nd, 2020, we made a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and since then we have been asking ourselves what more we can do to ensure that our support goes further than a single statement. A small group of Sherman students, faculty and staff, created the “Re-thinking the Sherm” document: a list of demands and actions for our center, our community, and ourselves, to better educate and support all community members under our care.
First and foremost, we must acknowledge that our community is not at all racially or ethnically diverse, and is predominantly composed of white and non-Black people of color (NBPOC). The student leadership and staff in our community has tried to tackle this issue by attempting to recruit students from other engineering and business organizations, including those that are geared toward students of color, and by having student leadership participate in hiring and inclusivity training. These strategies, unfortunately, have not had high levels of success. This leads us to believe that we must instead take a critical look at what happens before recruitment – the content of our community – and commit to actively creating a truly welcoming environment through our actions and messaging.
Read the document to find out how we are addressing this issue and how you can support this effort HERE. Contact Ted Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info.