To our students, community partners, and colleagues
We have been grieving and feeling outrage at the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, members in our local community: Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Jessica Williams, Kenneth Harding, and Sean Monterrosa, and those named and unnamed, who are victims of anti-Blackness and police violence—rooted in a history of white supremacy in the United States. We see this history of inequity play out in the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic collapse, which has disproportionately affected Black people and people of color. This violence and inequity must stop and be accompanied by the dismantling of the anti-Black structures and policies that have systematically devalued Black lives. Black Lives Matter. As a nation, as a city, as a campus community and as a Center, we must be better and hold ourselves accountable.
The McCarthy Center affirms its commitment to Black students, faculty and staff at the University of San Francisco and our Black community partners. We are heartened by and stand with our students and the many thousands of people who have shown up seeking an end to anti-Black violence and white supremacy. We support the leadership provided by USF’s Black Student Union whose demands envision and enact a more just world. We stand with community partners across the Bay Area protecting the dignity and lives of Black people, especially our community partners in The Fillmore / Western Addition. We stand with faculty whose teaching and scholarship make white supremacy and inequity visible, frame alternatives for racial justice, and promote healing in the struggle towards liberation.
We commit to being anti-racist in our work, including our efforts that are internal to the Center and at the University of San Francisco, to uphold the university’s vision of fashioning a more humane and just world. Our commitment is grounded in our Center’s strategic plan and its call to “identify, confront, and challenge oppression that manifests in our community engagement work by understanding and addressing issues of power, privilege, and oppression at the individual, organizational, and institutional levels.” We understand this and want our actions to match our words and be accountable for them through quarterly check ins on each action.
As an anti-racist Center, we will continue to create and refine community-engaged learning opportunities that interrogate white supremacist structures, and partner with community organizations that are doing the work of racial equity and justice.
We value and will continue to seek and lift voices from the community—particularly knowledge that is grounded in Black history and the lived experiences that challenge the status quo rooted in white supremacist ideology.
We are sharing resources that engage community and generate action to build the capacity of community partners across the Bay Area and particularly in The Fillmore / Western Addition, as well as the areas that our community partners are working alongside.
We are critically analyzing and revising our programs, staff, and board to best reflect the diversity of our students and the communities with which we work in the fight for justice, equity, and the preservation of human dignity.
We stand committed to
- Ongoing self and staff reflection, and communication about anti-racism through listening, readings, attending professional development workshops, and having conversations with the community––whose work addresses issues of power, privilege, oppression, and race.
- Assign resources, readings, and assignments in our programs and with community-engaged faculty that reflect scholars with diverse identities, including Black-identified scholars on systems of power, privilege, and oppression—specifically white supremacy and racism to contextualize student learning and engagement.
- Integrate guest speakers who are people of color and particularly those who are Black-identified into all McCarthy Center community-engaged programs and compensate them for their time and expertise through honoraria.
- Seek funding to pay community-based scholars and activists of color to be compensated as equal co-instructors in CEL courses.
- Foster, through the Community Partner Innovation Fund (CPIF) and the Community Empowerment Activists program, collaborative partnerships that foreground capacity building of partner organizations that service residents in The Fillmore and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
- Ensure student participation in our programs will, at minimum, reflect the diversity of the university population with the greater goal to ensure all students of color have access to our programs if they wish to participate.
- Continue to modify and innovate our programs to be welcoming, relevant, and inclusive to students based on their direct feedback.
- Center an anti-racist pedagogy in tutor training to directly address power, privilege, and oppression in our program curriculum by considering the history of The Fillmore / Western Addition––while analyzing how current and historical policies oppress communities of color, and continually reflecting on how our identities and backgrounds impact our work in and with community.
- Develop equitable internal policies for pay, title, and appraisal processes.
- Develop an advisory board whose membership includes persons from the communities with whom we work for justice.
This statement is part of a long-term commitment to anti-racism that is ongoing and dynamic.
We are reaffirming and deepening our actions this summer by reviewing our 2018-2023 strategic plan related to our commitment to challenging oppression that will help determine what strides we have made, where we need to recommit, and new actions we will take to embed antiracism in our work. We are prioritizing fundraising to financially support student participation––accessible to all students regardless of income. We will continue to update the community with our progress as we implement accountability practices and metrics to ensure our programs are welcoming, relevant, and inclusive to Black-Identified students. The McCarthy Center will continue to evolve and respond to our commitment for equity and liberation, as we stand in solidarity: Black Lives Matter.