In the most humbly spoken words by the late Civil Rights leader and Congressional Representative to the state of Georgia, John Lewis.

“When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

This is our time to speak up and articulate what is already evident.

We, the faculty and staff of the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies in the Graduate College of Education at San Francisco State University, unequivocally declare that Black Lives Matter.

The ELSIT faculty wishes to express our pain and outrage at the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshawn Brooks and the many others who have been victimized by a policing system that operates under a shroud of systemic racism. We reassert our support for and uncompromising solidarity with our Black students, colleagues, staff, and community members against white supremacy and state-sanctioned violence.

The murders and other instances of racial violence-including the harassment of Chris Cooper by a white woman in Central Park and the tear gassing of peaceful protesters in cities across the nation and the world—are occurring against the backdrop of a global pandemic and economic and political uncertainty, all of which disproportionately affect Black, Brown, Indigenous people and all people of color. We know many of you are suffering. We see you and we stand with you.

In this moment we must first look at ourselves and ask, “in what way have I contributed to this problem?” Next, we must ask, “What can I do to make things better and to be part of the solution in my family, in my community, in my country?” Then we need to end our silence and cast off our apathy, move past our critiques, and take positive actions to effect change.

We are grateful for the ELSIT community and we are committed to continuing to find new ways to teach, study and work toward justice. We welcome your participation in this journey. Whether you are trying to process the trauma of this moment, seeking to unplug and escape the hurt you are feeling, or search for constructive dialogue, equity and social justice resources or partners in action and planning, please know we are here to support you. Another world is possible, and together we will work to create it.