June 9, 2020
We in the Office of Global Engagement have spent the last few weeks listening, reflecting, and trying to process the emotions stirred by the abhorrent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We are disgusted and appalled by the senseless murders*, and we recognize that racism must be called out, rejected and denounced as ignorant, divisive, damaging, and immoral – having no place in our diverse communities as it is antithetical to our core values. We need to work together to root out the systemic racism that has historically and continues to disproportionately impact Black people in the United States.
The leadership of the Office of Global Engagement** believes in the value of understanding, appreciating, and celebrating different cultures around the world and here at home. Our mission is to create and nurture understanding between cultures, which is fundamental to fostering social justice and, as a part of a higher education institution, prepare the global citizens of tomorrow to confront society’s grand challenges. Tackling racism and discrimination in meaningful and impactful ways is one of our greatest responsibilities. As international educators, we will act, lead, and serve as positive and effective models for diversity, equity, and inclusion at NC State.
We applaud the university’s decision to require the completion of diversity and inclusion learning modules for all members of the NC State community and to review its policies and procedures, strengthening them as needed. Our division is committed to completing these modules and taking stronger concrete steps that build on our existing initiatives. Our pledge is to continue to listen to all perspectives and life experiences, critically examine our own thoughts and actions, and educate ourselves and others to create the needed context for deeper understanding and mutual respect. We realize that more action is needed as we stand united in pursuit of racial justice to achieve real and permanent change.
The Global Engagement Leadership Team
*edited for clarity
**edited from the original statement of “The 66 staff members in Global Engagement chose international education as a profession because we believe” because the statement was drafted by the leadership team and not the entire division.
Future plans to further enhance our support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our campus community include:
- The Office of Global Engagement and its constituent units will review the content, as well as format, medium of delivery, and scheduling of its programs and events, to more explicitly and regularly address racial injustice in the global and global education context, and to ensure that programs are accessible and inclusive.
- In faculty seed grant programs, Global Engagement will enhance our accountability to people of color by explicitly requesting feedback from all applicants and reviewers regarding any racial or other equity questions that may have arisen in the process or implementation, and to make any needed changes.
- Global Engagement units commit to going above and beyond equity requirements in staff recruitment, hiring, and training processes, to help ensure a diverse set of perspectives and approaches in its team, and to support staff success and satisfaction.
- Study Abroad Office staff will engage in a two-hour diversity, inclusion and equity training facilitated by Dr. Bahby Banks of Pillar Consulting
- The Study Abroad advising team will complete Diversity Abroad’s Inclusive Advising for Education Abroad Professionals e-learning course
- Passport Services will volunteer to host at NC State a regional Passport Agent training for the Department of State specifically addressing initiatives and practices that reinforce and promote inclusion
- Passport Services will also initiate proactive outreach to groups representing people of color, both on- and off-campus, including in-person pre-appointment assistance for their group, at their location, to lower hurdles to participation
- The Global Training Initiative will update its course materials on racism and race relations in its course on U.S. Culture and Higher Education for international students
- The GTI will also continue collaborating with on-campus and off-campus partners to develop and enhance training content and curricula to address cultural competency and understanding
- Various units in the Office of Global Engagement will examine the histories of marginalized peoples in other cultures; highlighting the importance of hearing the stories and recognizing the essential contributions made:
- NC Japan Center’s upcoming analysis of Dr. David Ambaras’ published work: Japan’s Imperial Underworlds: Intimate Encounters at the Borders of Empire
- NC Japan Center Newsletter: articles from primary sources on the experiences of People of Color in Japan (e.g. The Black Experience Japan)
- This list will continue to grow as we seek additional input from our students, staff, and on-campus and off-campus partners