Petition for Anti-Racist Pedagogy
ARC is currently focusing on our demand for anti-racist pedagogy, which affects all aspects of campus culture. We can’t solve the problem of racism on campus without addressing its systemic manifestations; we need institutional restructuring. Join us by reading, signing, and sharing our Petition for Anti-Racist Pedagogy
Our goal is to reach as many members of the Brooklyn College community as possible. We invite you to help us gain more support by having conversations with your colleagues and peers and encouraging them to sign the petition. We have included a script on our “ARC Resources” page with talking points and a Q&A section to get the dialogue going!
Anti-Racist Coalition (ARC) Demands:
Each one of these demands entail immediate, short term (before the fall semester), and long term strategic planning. You can find the origins of these demands, and our communication with President Anderson and her cabinet regarding their implementation. You can also see the timeline of inaction for the history of anti-racist work (and resistance to it) on Brooklyn College’s campus.
- Coalition formed implementation team: the implementation team will be comprised on faculty, staff, and students who have long committed to anti-racist work, that will consist of a representative of the President’s cabinet to communicate to the upper administration in the fulfillment of resources to meet the required goals;
- Immediate acknowledgement that upper administration is incapable of developing an action plan that is not led by students, faculty and staff.
- Administrative commitment to empowering the implementation team with a framework for deliverables of the demands herein exposed.
- And end to the unilateral decision makings where administrators make decisions about curriculum and student affairs without the expertise of faculty and staff, and without close consultation with students.
- Advocacy for staff: this includes a compensated ombudsperson that has the power to oversee promotions, disputes, and contract negotiations in consultation with the PSC and other union representatives;
- Immediate review of denied staff promotions on questionable grounds
- Coordinations with staff ombudsperson with PSC and DC37 Unions to provide greater transparency and ameliorates grievances.
- Emphasis on the internal hiring and promotion of Brooklyn College staff, with a history of excellent service, to vacated positions in the higher offices at the college.
- Endowment/fund: established by a budget that truly prioritizes diversity and inclusion and supported by large scale fundraising initiatives by the administration.
- Ensures funding for scholarships, activities, events, and academically-related travel for Black, Indigenous, Latinx and professors, adjuncts, faculty, staff and students of color.
- A redefinition of student success that is commensurate with the support and services that many students seek in terms of mentoring and academic development.
- The development of a resource center for long term achievement of BIPOC students and greater community engagement in the borough.
- Faculty hiring, retention, and mentoring: this includes a compensated position that provides oversight into all faculty hiring processes to ensure equity in hiring but also to identify areas for critical hiring clusters.
- The first faculty lines that the college gets this year and next will go to the Africana Studies and PRLS departments to begin to make them whole.
- An evaluation of the promotion and tenure process that values the hidden workload and the direct advocacy that faculty do.
- The promotion of assistant and associate professors to full time professors and the replacement of recently retired faculty with new lines, in no less than two years time.
- Faculty hires should prioritize the standard lines through the budget but the administration should launch fundraising initiatives through a variety of hires such as post-docs and endowed chairs to expand the pipeline of young BIPOC scholars on campus.
- Anti-racist pedagogy and the development of critical frameworks that can be used in all teaching departments that address vital issues of white supremacy, anti-blackness, settler colonialism, patriarchy, and other critical issues in society. This would include faculty training but also targeted hires in departments where critical foundations are most absent.
- All departments should develop introductory courses geared towards critical examination of social issues in the field. This includes the very nature of knowledge and the way it has been informed by white supremacy.
- Departments should make a concerted effort to target and hire alumni who have since earned the credentials to teach in their former departments. This emphasizes the needs for CUNY based instructors who are more familiar with the BC student body.
- Work with the center for teaching and learning to develop a certification process that celebrates pedagogical achievements and creatively in the classroom with a particular emphasis on critical instruction across the curriculum.
- Immediately sever ties with the NYPD on campus and reinvestment and imagining campus security with greater investment in mental health counseling and conflict resolution services.
- Immediate public statement acknowledging the past behavior of the NYPD and a declaration to ensure the broken trust and safety of BIPOC.
- A redeployment of campus security resources to emphasize mental health counseling services and conflict resolution certified employees.
- A long term plan for the college to embrace the Flatbush and larger Brooklyn community. This includes a plan to remove the gate separating the college from the community.
Our Initial Demands can be found below:
- Puerto Rican Alliance Demands (June 11th, 2020)
- Black Faculty and Staff Organization, Latino Faculty and Staff Organization, Faculty of Color Group Demands (June 16th, 2020)
Response and Critique to President Anderson’s 07/08/2020 Action Plan
The Anti-Racist Coalition at Brooklyn College views President Anderson’s Anti-racist Agenda announced on 7/8/20 as representative of the disconnect that has long plagued efforts to address racism. Each item is an indication that her thinking about race does not seek a true engagement with staff, faculty, and students. This agenda elides primary criticisms that have been consistent over the years and with the present administration. We ask Michelle Anderson to speak in terms of the resources she will raise to make these initiatives reality. Furthermore, we find the proposed agenda dissatisfying because it exercises ill-informed unilateral decisions rather than a collaborative process with the very people who sustain Brooklyn College. We respond to each point in an effort to do more than critique, but to clearly indicate the path forward–resources and responsive leadership.
Listening sessions: we reject the listening sessions on the grounds that they divert from the action oriented coalition formed by members of the BC community who have long advocated to address the KNOWN issues—structural and interpersonal. Instead, we suggest updates to inform the community about the work that is being done to implement our anti-racist agenda.
Implementation team for racial justice: a true racial justice team must be led by faculty, staff and students working on the frontlines everyday. We do not reject the idea of an implementation team, but the leadership of this team cannot be represented by those who are in conflicting upper administrative positions, whose relationship to the larger campus community has for too long represented hierarchical, non-cooperation, which goes against the spirit of ARC.
Campus Safety: we do not need a town hall to assess misconduct. We challenge the upper administration (and the entire community) to become versed in the racist origins of policing in the U.S. and familiarize themselves with the current abolitionist logic on how to move against this most expressed form of racism that has been documented by Dept. of Justice Reports at least since the 1968 Kerner Commission report. Failure to do so enacts the same racist logics about safety that we seek to eradicate.
Student Success: We must begin with a re-thinking of success that is expressed by BIPOC aspirations. Brooklyn College must create a social environment where faculty members do not suggest remedial classes as an answer to the ways that many of our instructors are worse than remedial but out of touch at best. We emphasize the importance of our long-abandoned departments like Africana Studies and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies, and demand for support for their students, faculty and staff.
Faculty hiring: target hiring of faculty who will move an anti-racist agenda cannot be thought of as a “trade off” from other priorities. An anti-racist Brooklyn College is top priority and our hiring and retention must reflect it. The immediate hiring of faculty who represent an anti-racist agenda demands first an assessment of institutional logic that insists that budget restraints are more important than institutional will.
Faculty mentorship: This is a direct response to the BFS proposal and in addition to what has been outlined, this position—will be informed by the ARC-directed racial justice team, and will help provide the transparency desperately needed in hiring and retention practices along with the identification of faculty whose teaching and pedagogy does not reflect our commitment to an anti-racist Brooklyn College.
Staff Mentorship: this response to the BFS proposal must require compensation but also the structural operational power to advocate for critical issues of promotion, contract negotiation, along with daily issues of dignity and respect.
Anti-racist pedagogy: the foundation of an anti-racist pedagogy cannot be based on the experience of only BIPOC students but rather on a greater understanding of the structural foundations and perspectives that shape reality for all people. We do not view anti-racist pedagogy as department specific, rather we emphasize how it is reflected in all forms of epistemology. Departments must adopt required courses that reflect on the ways that the sciences, business, social sciences, and humanities reinforce white logic and white methods that are regarded more critically in the social sciences, education, and the humanities.
“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
– Angela Davis