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Critical Race Theory resolution from the Faculty Senate

By Garrett Cote
@garrett_cote

Last summer, Dr. Stephanie Logan (Chair of the Department of Education) and Justine Dymond (Associate Professor of English) took part in a week-long summer experience sponsored by the African American Policy Forum (AAPF). It was open to faculty, community organizers, lawyers and a variety of other people who are policy makers or impacted by policy, all of whom were interested in learning about Critical Race Theory.

After taking what they learned from the experience, Logan and Dymond then hosted and facilitated a program on what Critical Race Theory is. The pair maintained connections with the various working groups that came out of their summer school experience, one of them being the Education Working Group.

At the higher education level, several things under the umbrella of Critical Race Theory are being discussed. An important topic is the support of higher education professors who are in states that have banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory.

In response, faculty in higher education across the country have put forth resolutions to allow Critical Race Theory to be taught – to be a uniting voice.

“This is the expectation, we deserve academic freedom,” Logan said. “These forces should not interfere with faculty teaching the truth. This is bigger than Critical Race Theory in some ways.”

And with that, Dymond took the resolution that the Springfield College Racial and Ethnic Issues Working Group drafted up and was the leading voice in a faculty senate meeting on March 7. The resolution read:

“BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate resolutely rejects restrictions on faculty related to teaching about racial inequality and injustice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty autonomy and expertise.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate stands with our PK-12 and higher education colleagues throughout the country who may be affected by pernicious directives, policies, and legislation when they seek to teach the truth in U.S. history and social science education.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Faculty Senate calls upon President Mary-Beth Cooper, Interim Provost Mary Ann Coughlin, and other members of the leadership team, in the spirit of shared governance, to affirm in writing that they reject restrictions on faculty related to teaching about racial inequality and injustice, and will stand firm against encroachment on faculty autonomy and expertise.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Faculty Senate affirms the Joint Statement on Efforts to Restrict Education about Racism, authored by the AAUP, PEN America, the American Historical Association, and the Association of American Colleges & Universities, endorsed by over seventy organizations, and issued on June 16, 2021.”
The resolution was passed, which pleased Logan, Dymond and the other members of the Racial and Ethnic Issues Working Group.

“Faculty should not be stifled from having critical conversations with students or teaching well-rounded history that shares the good, the bad and the ugly,” Logan said.

 Photos Courtesy Springfield College

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