CPH & Carolina K-12 Statements Regarding the Murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and Other Black Americans
Carolina Public Humanities shares the outrage and grief felt across our country in response to the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, George Floyd, and so many other Black Americans in recent years. Our overall goal at CPH is to use the Humanities to help create a more humane world, and we will continue to foster CPH communities and conversations to create enduring social change.
In the wake of racist murders, shared anguish, and continuing public turmoil the humanities provide essential resources and insights for human progress toward justice, equity, and healing. History, literature, ethics and the arts help us to understand how injustices have evolved and how Black people have long faced the destructive consequences of racism and racist violence.
Humanistic knowledge and perspectives also give us powerful tools to envision a different future for our country as we seek to move beyond the long history of racial injustices and oppression. Changing the future will require robust and sustained commitments to public education, support for underfunded schools, explicit attention to the legacies of systemic racism, and concrete actions to address social inequities in K-12 and Higher education.
For humanities-centered resources on the history and current development of anti-racist struggles, please visit https://humanities.unc.edu/antiracismresources/.
From Carolina K-12
As David Blight wrote, “Past and present are always connected in any people’s history; they flow into one another, often in unseen ways, but also in moments of shock and recognition. When it comes to issues of race and the legacies of slavery in America, we are frequently reminded of these truths.” The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd serve as recent examples of this shock and recognition, and it feels so personal and raw to so many beyond their loved ones. Carolina K-12 believes that one of the many important and powerful ways forward is with our young people in the classroom – where the NC teachers we SUPPORT and RESPECT and LIFT UP IN LOVE can facilitate a true reckoning of our nation’s history. For the teachers already engaging in this important work in your classrooms, and for the teachers preparing for your own disruption in the way we teach about our past and present, WE ARE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU. This image by the incredible late photographer, civil rights advocate, & speaker at past CK12 Friday Teacher Retreats – Billy Barnes – reminds us that while we may be born into a system of racism and white advantage, our children don’t have to grow up learning that this is right and just. Beyond parents and guardians, meaningful adults like teachers also have a powerful medium to disrupt and dismantle a centuries old system of oppression – with the lessons you teach (even when it feels risky), with the voices you elevate, with the relationships you build, with the materials on your walls, with the books on your shelves, with the love you give, with the way your eyes light up in support and respect of the children and teens who look up to you in the position of power you hold with them… You are not alone in this critical work. For resources, including ways to help out right now, visit https://humanities.unc.edu/antiracismresources/. Reach out if you need assistance and join us for a future “Teaching Hard History” workshop. (Virtual sessions will be coming soon.) Be well. Be safe. Hold onto hope. Our children need us as much as we need them in this moment.