CCR Community: Black Lives Matter

 

Dear Colleagues,

Black Lives Matter. This Spring, the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade brought matters of anti-Black violence, racism, and injustice to the forefront of our community. We cannot ignore the direct impact on UC San Diego, especially those who are part of our Black community and other community members of color. We denounce these violent and racist acts and stand in solidarity with our community to reaffirm that Black Lives Matter.  

We believe that true engaged learning is only possible with the acknowledgement of how power and privilege operate at the intersections of identity. We recognize that experiential learning has often served as a space of gatekeeping. By recognizing this history and working toward increasing access and participation for Black students and communities of color, we can create a more inclusive and equitable experiential learning environment. Experiential learning can be a place to dismantle the systematic racism inherent in institutions and we are committed to working toward that goal with access and engagement as a starting point. We want to be keymakers, not gatekeepers. 

The experiences, responsibilities, and conversations students engage in beyond the classroom  can present further opportunities to challenge their assumptions and biases, examine how their beliefs and actions may contribute to structural inequality, and to learn from community partners who work toward positive change. The framework used as a foundation for the Engaged Learning Tools highlights two competencies intertwined with these opportunities for individual and structural change:  Civic Engagement & Social Responsibility and Teamwork & Cross-Cultural Collaboration. We understand that engagement in activities where the full dignity of participants is not acknowledged is the root of inequity and will work to recognize and remove the ways that racism and other systems of oppression hinder true engagement. We know that this conversation will and should continue beyond performative activism and towards structural change and we look forward to co-creating this with our experiential learning community.

Finally, we acknowledge that many of you provide programming and oversight to students in your work and our Engaged Learning Tools team would like to share some resources to support you and your students: 

  • Communicate and create space for students
    • Our colleagues at the Commons Engaged Teaching Hub shared a resource of an example message to students. While your role as an experiential educator may be different from a faculty-to-student relationship, expressing your support and acknowledging traumatic events is appreciated by our students.
  • Extended validation deadline
    • In acknowledgment of the impact Spring 2020 events may have on our staff, faculty, and student community, we are extending the validation deadline through December 30, 2020. Please contact us at elt@ucsd.edu if you have any questions.
  • Campus resources
    • We encourage you to share campus and other support resources for students. CAPS is available to support students with tele-health counseling. The Campus Community Centers provide spaces for community, support, and dialogue.

Our Engaged Learning Tools Team is committed to dismantling the white supremacy that permeates experiential learning through introspection, action and most of all, listening. Please share your suggestions and thoughts on how we can better engage our CCR validators and students at elt@ucsd.edu

In solidarity,

The Engaged Learning Tools Team

Teaching + Learning Commons