SSA Faculty Solidarity Statement

As those who call our dear city home struggle with making justice an equal experience for all of its residents, we reaffirm this solidarity statement and our commitment to join in these efforts.
 
This past year, members of the SSA community have shared the sorrow of those who are grieving the tragic and senseless deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray and many other unarmed black men and boys. As SSA faculty members, we stand in solidarity with those who continue to publicly express outrage about these events. We join together with those who pursue racial justice and insist that Black Lives Matter.
 
The public expressions of anger and concern in Baton Rouge, Dallas, Minneapolis, Ferguson, Staten Island, New York, Baltimore, Cleveland, in our own city of Chicago, and so many other cities across the country, focus our attention on the immediate threat posed by the excessive use of force by police. These protests underscore the urgent need to identify effective strategies to prevent violence, to develop law-enforcement practices that protect public safety while respecting the rights of all people, and to insist on criminal justice procedures that fairly adjudicate cases involving lethal-force by police officers. Incidents of excessive force and discriminatory police practices—especially those committed under dubious circumstances with no proper subsequent investigation—undermine public safety by eroding police legitimacy.
 
The ongoing expressions of outrage also illuminate the longstanding and persistent challenges of institutional discrimination and racial inequality. They draw necessary attention to broader problems of racial, political, social, and economic injustice disproportionately affecting communities of color. They give voice to the thousands of individuals and communities who struggle to meet basic needs and to exercise freedoms so many take for granted. 
 
Social justice is a core value of our profession. Our obligation to vulnerable and oppressed populations is not negotiable. This year of tragedy underscores the reality that access to opportunity, resources, and the law is far from equal, especially for African Americans. This year of collective outcry strengthens our belief in the power of nonviolent protest and reminds us that we cannot tire from challenging social injustices and pursuing social change.
 
As social work and social welfare scholars, teachers, and practitioners, and as citizens of the world, we are compelled by these tragedies to deepen our commitment to ending racial inequities in law enforcement and judicial processes. May the deaths of Kajieme Powell, Tamir Rice, and too many others motivate us to give action to our professional values. May our service to the people with whom we are committed to work be intensified as a result of these tragic events. Our values and convictions—and our professional and academic training—mean little if we do not resolve to translate what we believe and what we know into concrete actions. Through continued research and scholarship, community education, social work practice, public protest, and self-reflection, the events of this past year should prompt us to rededicate ourselves to doing our work well and with urgency and purpose.
 
With this statement, the undersigned SSA faculty and full-time lecturers reaffirm our commitment to the pursuit of a more just society that upholds the dignity and worth of all people, regardless of the color of their skin and the labels that are applied to them. In social work schools throughout the country, faculty, students, staff and community members are joining together to rededicate their work to the elimination of racial inequality and injustice. We join with them and with all who pursue justice for all.
 
Sharon Berlin, Professor EmeritaColleen M. GroganJennifer Mosley
William BordenNeil GutermanDodie Norton, Professor Emerita
Alida M. BourisSydney L. HansShipra Parikh
Evelyn Z. BrodkinJulia R. HenlyCharles M. Payne
E. Summerson CarrPaul HolmesWilliam Pollak, Professor Emeritus
Robert ChaskinLeyla IsmayilovaShanta Robinson
Yoonsun ChoiBeth-Anne JacobMelissa Roderick
Mark E. CourtneyWaldo E. Johnson. Jr.Tina L. Rzepnicki
Jessica DarrowSusan LambertGina M. Samuels
Irene Elkin, Professor EmeritaLarry Lynn, Professor EmeritusWilliam Sites
Matthew W. EppersonJeanne C. MarshKaren Teigiser, Professor Emerita
Gina FedockNicole P. MarwellDexter R. Voisin
Angela S. García Stanley G. McCrackenFroma Walsh, Professor Emerita
Deborah Gorman-SmithCurtis McMillenMiwa Yasui
  Marci A. Ybarra

 

 

Lecturers:

Stephen BakerKeith R. GreenPhyllis Mitzen
Mary Jo BarrettJohn HalloranPete Myers
Ann BergartAmy KhareLo Patrick
Laura K. BotwinickMichael KristovicJane Ramsey
Mary BunnJeff LevyPatricia J. Redd
Pajarita Charles Sybil Madison-BoydMatt Richards
Aditi DasKatharine B. MannAmy Schigelone
Tim DevittAlexandra Jane McCourtSoo Shim
Renee Z. DominguezSusan McCrackenMatilda Stubbs
Binita DonohueJennifer MeadeNick Turner
Robert EschmannJoan Merlin PalmerSteve Vick 
Joanne FlomJoy MessingerElaine Waxman
Stacey Gordon Jancey Wickstrom