Interview with Dr. Jeremy Landa, UConn researcher and specialist in education and discrimination in minority communities. Topic: Disparity in Connecticut’s Education System.
Schools play a critical role in fostering emotional safety for adults and students. In responding to COVID-19, schools planning to reopen must include efforts that define a safe school environment as having not only physical elements such as cleaning practices, ventilation conditions, and physical distancing protocols, but also emotional elements.
S. Kent Butler came to UCF in 2007 to teach counselor education and has more than 30 years of experience in the field and multicultural work. As the head of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, he has created the Leadership Council for Equity, Inclusivity and Diversity, which is made up of 22 individuals across UCF that champion social justice and equity.
“Like monuments, mascots are not just symbols of a dark past, but barriers to a more just future. If schools and communities are to reckon with the past and present of systemic racism, and move toward a future of human rights, both monuments and mascots must fall,” says Glenn Mitoma, an assistant professor of human rights and curriculum and instruction at the University of Connecticut, and director of UConn’s Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.
“On the anniversary of Juneteenth, hundreds of mostly young, Black protesters went directly to the Hartford mayor’s brownstone house in downtown with a simple demand: abolish police. Despite their demand, the mayor’s response was a mismatch. Instead of defunding, abolishing, or even tangibly reducing the size of the police, the mayor recommended building more affordable housing in the suburbs. Rather than racial and economic justice for the Black and Puerto Rican people in Hartford now, the response was clear: I will not help you change policies, but I will help you leave,” say co-authors Robert Cotto and Brendan Mahoney.
“Student input is critical,” said Sandra Chafouleas, a psychology professor at the University of Connecticut’s Neag School of Education. “We can’t just assume that we know best because we are the adults.”
“I’m so thankful that when I went to UConn I had a great experience on the basketball court, I had a great experience in the classroom, I had an amazing experience creating with players who were human, who were real, who were at the forefront of these fights as you look at a lot of the WNBA teams who were kneeling and were part of those movements and who were loud about it, and who were proud about what they were fighting for, as they should,” says Batouly Camara.
“That grammatical pause helps explain how racism can grow, even thrive, generations after slavery ended. It is the jump ball where the referee throws the ball slightly to one side, sometimes intentionally. It is the fastball on the edge of the strike zone where the right call is blurred so completely that bias is all that is left to decide whether it is a ball or strike,” says Doug Glanville, a faculty member in sport management at the Neag School of Education.
Jamelle Elliott, who helped usher in the UConn women’s basketball dynasty as a member of the 1995 national championship team and later guided the Huskies to five more titles as an assistant coach, was officially appointed to the staff after serving in an interim role since February, the school announced.
“To my surprise, the tweet went viral and led to my writing an op-ed in The New York Times entitled ‘I Refuse to Run a Coronavirus Home School.’ Since then, in addition to trying to keep my sanity, I have appeared on shows from ‘Good Morning America’ to ‘Central Time’ on Wisconsin Public Radio, spreading the message to parents that all we can do right now is our best and that’s enough,” says Jennie Weiner, an associate professor of educational leadership. “That we need to have self-compassion because it’s going to be messy, and to remember that educators, too, need our support and compassion as they attempt to be superhuman so we can feel a bit more human.”