16 June 2020
The Center for International Programs (CIP) at Kalamazoo College acknowledges that individual-level and systemic racism is pervasive within the US and throughout global communities. Racism confronts our international Black students as well as our Black students who remain on K’s campus. Additionally, we know that racism appears in other cities and countries while on study abroad and study away programs.
We recognize that access to institutions like K does not ensure equality or equity. This demands that we do more than the bare minimum of the status quo if we want to shape a future that resembles the CIP’s ideals. The burden that racism places on Black students’ shoulders hinders opportunity for equitable education, meaning that studying, working, and navigating in this environment is difficult, and especially in light of several recent deaths of U.S. Black Americans. Thus, we believe it’s important to explicitly state our beliefs and commitments in pursuit of ensuring maximum well-being of Black students.
• We acknowledge and respect the extraordinary effort by Black students, staff/faculty, and the K community who carry disproportionate stress and grief due to systemic racism in policing, healthcare, housing, politics, and education. We commit to continuing to find ways and develop programs and processes to make international education more accessible and equitable for students of color interested in crossing borders and learning from new cultures.
• We support those standing up with dignified rage in response to injustice all over the world. We are also aware of international solidarity protests happening in denouncement of both US and their country’s own manifestations of racism.
• As we all experience and internalize this important moment, we encourage everyone to give yourself and others space to reflect on their experiences, thoughts, and emotions. It is a time for great action, change, and grace and we want to foster deep, long-lasting paradigm shifts.
• Lastly, we implore White students, staff, and faculty to practice active listening and thoughtful action in order to learn how best to be ally-accomplices in the pursuit of racial justice. We hope this message finds you thinking of ways to bravely confront white supremacy and to support your friends, family, and loved ones who are the most affected by it.
The Center for International Programs is committed to helping our students of color navigate global education in this extremely tumultuous time. Over the next few months, we will develop and publish a list of new initiatives and policies that our staff will integrate into the CIP’s processes and methods. We encourage students with concerns regarding this to please contact firstname.lastname@example.org so we can be direct, transparent, and proactive in our efforts to fight white supremacy.