Jordaine Hilaire, Inside Higher Ed
Courageous and intentional conversations around implicit bias and racism aimed at the black community have always taken place. These conversations were occurring long before the tragedies of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin and many others. As I scroll through the social media timelines and see so many new perceived allies of the black community, I can’t help but think, why now?
I am gratified by the recent public statements from leaders at small to large public and private universities and corporations conveying their support and pledging to stand by the black community to end racial injustices. Still, as I read, I wonder, what now?
As a higher education practitioner who has worked in many areas of student affairs since my undergrad years, I have poured out so many of my thoughts and feelings to the people on campuses who hold the influence and power to make final decisions concerning racial injustice, institutionalized racism, inequalities for all marginalized communities and more. And certainly, higher education institutions have addressed these issues in the past -- usually through programs and events hosted by the Office of Multicultural Affairs or Office of Equity and Inclusion or some similar part of the college or university. But black students, staff and faculty want and need more. So, again, I ask, what now?