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College of Education > Equity > College of Education Leadership Resolution

College of Education Leadership Resolution

NOTE: This resolution was adapted from the original resolution draft by Michael A. Mogill, Chair of the Dickinson Law Faculty, which was adopted by the unanimous vote of the Penn State Dickinson Law faulty on June 2, 2020.


These turbulent times present a call to action and as we recognize that silence is endorsement, we will no longer be silent. As leaders in the College of Education at The Pennsylvania State University, we endorse this leadership resolution as a living document, making transparent our commitment to combat and actively dismantle persistent, both cloaked and visible, systemic racism. As researchers and educators, we have a moral imperative to act against systems that perpetuate bias, discrimination, and racism. As a community we recognize that these systems impact, disenfranchise, and oppress on the basis of many ‘othernesses.’ While we abhor and seek to combat all forms of discrimination, this moment requires us to specifically address the centuries of discrimination and racism endured by Black Americans in this country and proclaim here that each and every Black life matters. 

We urge you to consider standing with us in endorsing this resolution. We also encourage you to help us revise this living proclamation to best reflect our recognition of racism, its roots, its impacts on Black lives and other marginalized groups as well as the proactive work in which we will engage to overcome it. 

While this leadership resolution presents a critically important, transparent, strong, and visible statement regarding our stance on the systemic racism, oppression, and violence that have had a multigenerational impact on Black lives, our words will ring hollow if they are not accompanied by action. Therefore, we also commit to taking concrete steps to change the trajectory created by the original sin of this country. 

We provide below both the leadership resolution below and a set of initial actions we are currently taking and a process to continue to identify and implement actionable strategies that centers racial justice as a core thread in the work we as a College conduct.


WHEREAS, we recognize the ongoing, systemic, and perpetual racial and societal injustices in this country, which have been passed on from generation to generation; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that these injustices have existed since the original sin of slavery and been furthered by Jim Crow laws and the unequal treatment of Black Americans in our social, judicial, and educational systems; and 

WHEREAS, we especially note and are appalled by the numerous killings that have been committed against Black Americans under the color of law; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the lack of accountability for these injustices; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the senseless brutality being committed by those employed to serve and protect who are operating under a pattern, practice, and culture fostering unequal treatment; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to have uncomfortable talks and real, honest, and transparent conversations directed towards addressing these injustices through action; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize and feel the sadness, anger, outrage, frustration, pain, and grieving caused by extrajudicial killings; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to understand how so many feel helpless, frustrated, invisible, and disillusioned, resulting in constant fears for their personal safety and leading to bearing psychological and emotional scars; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that racism is an incessant malady and a scourge to an otherwise organized, civilized society; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that systemic discrimination and unjust racial inequities continue to appall and to plague our nation and our schools; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that we should not accept apathy, indifference, or silence to such ongoing violence and inequities, which otherwise allows hatred, prejudice, and intolerance to fester and grow; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to engage in peaceful protest, constructive acts, and educational opportunities to make a meaningful difference towards societal change; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that we have an obligation to fight ignorance and intolerance, model inclusivity, and embrace our differences and the power that diversity represents; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize that the education system has perpetuated racial and societal injustices, racism, and unequal treatment of Black Americans; and

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to stand with our Black brothers and sisters as effective allies; and 

WHEREAS, we recognize the need to stand in ongoing support of our students, staff, fellow faculty, and their families who are persons of color.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that we acknowledge that racism is an affliction that we must never enable but as active antiracists, should take responsibility to condemn and to end, that we need to identify and challenge systemic prejudice wherever it exists, that we are all accountable for doing the work necessary for policy changes that dismantle structural systems of oppression that perpetuate racial inequities in our society and institutions, that we will strive to be better listeners and supporters of those who are the victims of racism, that we will never rest until every American feels safe, free, and accepted in our country, and that we will continuously abide by the goal of providing equitable educational opportunities for all people. 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, this resolution be preserved in the records and minutes of the College of Education leadership team and prominently displayed on the College of Education website.

Adopted this 8 day of June, 2020, by the unanimous vote of College of Education leadership team:  

Roy B. Clariana
Gregory Kelly
Kevin Kinser

Kimberly Lawless
David Lee
Gwendolyn Lloyd

P. Karen Murphy
Maria Schmidt
Rayne Sperling
Rose Mary Zbiek

Endorse this resolution

The following members of the College of Education community have endorsed this resolution:

Annemarie Mountz
Stephen Wilson
Richard Hazler
Staci M. Lynch
Karen Johnson
Nathan Reeves
Katerina Bodovski
Leila Bradaschia
John Cheslock
Laura E. Bray
Jennifer L. Frank
Rebecca Tarlau
Jen McLaughlin
Katie Wheeler
Darlene Kolesar
Pia Smal
Stephanie Hopkins
Rachel Wolkenhauer
Iris Mittendorf
Troy Carl
Amber Cesare
Debbie Brooks
Jennifer Blackburn Miller
JoLynn Carney
Elizabeth Smolcic
Divine Lipscomb
Ashley Diaz
Gilberto Q. Conchas

Julian Morales
Jerry Henry
Tanner Vea
Erin Garthe
Stefanie Tomlinson
Carlos P. Zalaquett
Chrissie Klinger
Lori A. Forlizzi
Sarah Moryken
Alba Congiu
Susan Land
Laura Rice
Christine Cunningham
Liza Conyers
Alicia C. Dowd
Amber O'Shea
Katie Hoffman
Kathleen Collins
Julia Green Bryan
Kelly Rosinger
Fran Arbaugh
David McNaughton
Cristin M. Hall
Kristen Nadermann
Tania Germino
David Borges
Carlos Medina
Peggy Schooling

Royel M. Johnson
Carla Zembal-Saul
Leslie Foster
Michael Tocimak
Wanda Wasilko
Joseph H. Wells
Dean's Development Council
Alex List
Alumni Society Board of Directors
Jacqueline Reid-Walsh
Amy Crosson
Matt McCrudden
Jim Carlson
Paula Marden
Jerry Regan
Peggy VanMeter
Heather Toomey Zimmerman
Bryan Henninger
Scott McDonald
Elisa Hopkins
Pui-Wa Lei
Deirdre O'Sullivan
April Blackburn
Katie Kostohryz
Paul Riccomini
Brenda Martinez
Dana L. Stuchul
Anita Bowes

Matthew Gardner Kelly
Marcela Borge
Charlotte L. Land
Karen Paulson
Christine Andrus
William C. Diehl
Simon Hooper
Bethann Dudley McCain
Xiangquan Yao
Julia Plummer
Jeffrey A. Hayes
Brandy Wood
Misty Woods
Bonnie Richardson
Jason J. Griffith
Ty Hollett
Liz Widman
Michelle Knotts
Christine McDonald
Shirley A. Woika
James T. Herbert
Kaleena Selfridge
Jeremy Sandberg
Michelle Brown
Ashley N. Patterson
Efraín Marimón
Gerald K. LeTendre