[Editor’s Note: The following is an opinion piece written by a majority of the Blackburn faculty. It should be noted that, because this is an opinion piece, the views shared below do not necessarily represent the opinion of The ‘Burnian or its editorial staff.]
We, the undersigned faculty, firmly believe it is our moral responsibility to foster and protect a diverse, inclusive, and equitable community; to do otherwise undermines our community’s integrity and commitment to the liberal arts. We also believe it is our responsibility to challenge and dismantle all forms of discrimination; to do otherwise compromises our shared culture of recognizing and supporting the dignity of every individual student, staff, faculty, and community member.
We hereby pledge to the Blackburn community and all those it includes that we uphold Blackburn’s Community Values and Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion statement (see below). In doing so, we adamantly oppose racism and all forms of discrimination, recognizing that they are institutional tools of exclusion and oppression, which, even when not directed at specific individuals, create barriers to individual opportunity and reinforce exclusionary, stratified, and inequitable systems.
We hereby call upon the College’s administration and Board of Trustees to uphold these values; we can neither expect nor accept any less. The College must exemplify the values outlined in the statement below or fail in its commitment to students, fail in its mission, and lose its identity as an institution.
We commend staff and faculty members for their integrity and courage in upholding their responsibility as mandated reporters, and we commend Gary Lowder and Rachel Burke for their journalistic integrity and courage in reporting on the investigation into the President’s alleged discriminatory remarks.
James Bray Jr
Blackburn’s Community Values and Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Blackburn College embraces diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, gender identity, culture, nationality, age, socioeconomic status, neurodiversity, religious affiliation or lack thereof, and the many other attributes that contribute towards the cultural richness of our campus community.
We value our diverse identities that help our relationships flourish and our community thrive. In doing so, we are committed to:
- Seeking understanding across difference
- Resisting the pervasiveness of racism and other forms of discrimination
- Emulating respect, compassion, and integrity in our relationships with each other;
- Prioritizing marginalized people’s safety
- Recognizing that hostility, stereotyping, and/or disparaging remarks towards any identity, even when not directed at specific individuals, creates a hostile environment which undermines our community’s integrity and the liberal arts.
It is also expected that Blackburn community members (staff and faculty) will not propagate racist or discriminatory views in teaching, learning, or working relationship as it compromises the integrity and credibility of our community.
To be consistent with our conviction for diversity and inclusion, every Blackburn College member is responsible for upholding these community standards for the merit of our institution.
Blackburn College is committed to building our awareness of diversity through workshops, training sessions and other learning opportunities that help us create a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. Disruptive, condescending, or harassing behavior that compromises any learning opportunity is a violation of Blackburn’s community standards. It is also expected that Blackburn community members (staff and faculty) will not propagate racist or discriminatory views in teaching, learning, or working relationship as it compromises the integrity and credibility of our community.