A Statement on Racial Injustice in Light of Current Events (June 2020)
During these unprecedented times of both high uncertainties and tragic realities, the Social Justice Initiative remains committed to its vision: utilizing four primary lenses to best see the ways of advancing the knowledge, values, and skills of those who seek to co- create a more just world for themselves and their communities. We believe that the collective powers of forgiveness, courage and compassion, cultural humility, and radical love are essential for united healing.
Over the past several months, our global understanding of the need for healing has deepened as we fight against the widespread and deadly invasion of the COVID-19 pandemic. This microscopic virus has ensured that we are no longer able to deny the chronicity of multiple healthcare disparities and inequities. Even more recently we have all been reminded of our need to heal from another pandemic, one that has existed for as long as time itself– the infectious agent of hate.
Our SJI shares the grief and anger of communities all around the world and particularly our Black communities as senseless police violence and systematic racism tragically and disproportionately affect the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being of those most closely impacted. The SJI is unequivocal when we say "Black Lives Matter". We know that until we address the racial injustice of African-Americans, justice for everyone everywhere remains endangered and precarious.
We remember Eric Garner, Botham Jean, Tatiana Jefferson, Eric Reason, Dominique Clayton, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, Amadou Dialloand and countless others who senselessly lost their lives to police violence. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to doing our part in effecting genuine justice for all.
The SJI knows that the components of social justice can be taught, learned, embodied, and enacted within and among individuals and communities. Across the globe we are inspired by people of all ethnicities, races, ages, gender/gender identities, and beliefs joining together with the goal of creating a better future, a world where everyone can live and thrive no matter their identities. And we remain hope 'full' that now there will be the shared will to do so.
We thank you for continuing to be a part of our SJI Community, embracing you all as much needed Social Justice Warriors. We wish that you and everyone in your hearts stay safe and well in all ways, and look forward to our remaining connected!!
Social Justice Initiative
The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) was established in 2016. It was conceived and continues to be led by Darlyne Bailey, Ph.D., Professor, now Dean Emeritus of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships. With a deeply engaged Advisory Council and hard working administration, the SJI is devoted to the international exploration and enacting of knowledge, values, and skills that are essential to ensuring a more just world for all.
With the May 4, 2017, conference as the official launch, the SJI network now includes 300-plus individuals and organizations, locally, nationally, and in several countries across the globe.