Statement on Confronting Racism and Police Brutality

Statement by the Program in Educational Transformation, Georgetown University

Monday, June 2, 2020

The killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers has brought forth an outpouring of anger and frustration in our nation. Mr. Floyd’s murder is the latest in a terrifyingly long list of violent deaths of black and brown people at the hands of law enforcement. The Program in Educational Transformation at Georgetown University sees the disproportionate use of violence against African-Americans as part of a broader pattern of state-sanctioned structural violence against black and brown communities in the U.S. The racial bias evident in police violence (and the criminal justice system more broadly) also manifests itself within school disciplinary policies that form the origins of the school-to-prison pipeline.

These practices are premised on racial inequality. In order to combat them, we must, as a nation and as a society, engage the systems of racism and white supremacy that exist within our classrooms, within our educational policies and within our communities. Racial segregation of schools and housing, unequal funding, practices of tracking and unequal opportunities to learn all foster and promote racism. In short, we see racial inequality and racial injustice as a central and primary reason why schools are not meeting the needs of students of all races.

The Program in Educational Transformation at Georgetown is dedicated to equipping our students with the skills, knowledge and insights needed to help create schools, classrooms and communities that are equitable and anti-racist and that value the assets students and communities bring to schools. To end police violence, we need leadership, policies and practices that fight racism directly, especially within our schools. To fail to undertake these changes will be to ensure that more young people find themselves in punitive disciplinary systems, that more black and brown young people will be shot or killed by police officers, and that our society will continue to grow more unequal and divided. We can and must do better.