Commitment to Racial Justice

Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Racial Justice in Global Education  

July 1, 2020  
Tufts Global Education joins the wider Tufts community in its heartbreak and condemnation of the systemic police brutality that targets Black people and has tragically ended the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Rayshard Brooks, Elijah McClain, and countless others. We also condemn the longstanding and insidious racist violence perpetrated against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in this country and mourn the loss of Ahmaud Arbery, Robert Fuller, Malcolm Harsch, and far too many others. These tragic deaths have also had powerful and legitimate resonances in other countries where Tufts Global Education operates. We recognize that institutions of higher learning, as microcosms of our wider society, have historically played a role in perpetuating systemic racism and oppression by centering the intellectual discourses, cultures, and experiences of Whiteness, while structuring student access to academic opportunity asymmetrically along racial lines. This historical moment compels us to reflect on the ways our individual and community racial biases may be manifested in the work that we do and how we do that work, and the ways in which we are underserving BIPOC members of the Tufts community. As international educators, we acknowledge that historically, White culture and the experiences and well-being of White students have been centered in our field.  As practitioners and champions of global and intercultural learning, we must provide greater access to international study for BIPOC students, and to structure global programs in a way that foregrounds their experiences abroad.  We commit, personally and professionally, to expanding our understanding of systemic racism and its impact on our students, both in Medford and at our global sites. We commit to asking the hard questions about why many Students of Color do not feel seen or heard in our planning, protocols, resources, and policies. How can we evolve our operations to create greater access to global education, and to better engage, prepare, and attend to our students leading up to and throughout their time abroad?  
Tufts Global Education will continue to ask and reflect upon these questions as we move forward, developing improvements across our operations, programming, and protocols. While global experiences at Tufts have had to be put on hold until 2021, we are in a prime position to assess, refocus, restructure, enhance, and expand our initiatives by listening to our students, staff, faculty, and international partners. We have waited to share this statement of solidarity so that we could write this together because our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and educational justice is not performative nor temporary.  As an international large team, we intentionally took the time to consult, assess our past and current measures, listen to student feedback, and confer with our partners.  It is critical for us to reflect on the past, present, and future of Tufts Global Education in order to plan and implement effectively. We acknowledge that there is much work to be done, and that it will take continual effort, education, reflection, and reassessment as we work to evolve our operations.  Long-term engagement is critical as we continue to move from intention to action. Tufts Global Education has significantly transitioned in the last year and we look forward to working together. We will soon share more details as we have comprehensively reviewed past action steps, ongoing projects, and begin to outline future plans. We commit to working towards racial, social, and educational justice in global education.  
Tufts Global Education 
Mala Ghosh, Senior Director 
Melanie Armstrong, Assistant Director 
Melissa Newton, Program Coordinator 
Scott Langevin, Program Manager 
Loreto Pomar, Resident Director, Tufts in Chile 
Kweku Bilson, Resident Director, Tufts in Ghana 
Vera Yip, Resident Director, Tufts in Hong Kong 
Hanae Sasaki, Resident Director, Tufts in Japan 
Meredith Hyde, Resident Director, Tufts in London and Tufts in Oxford 
Susan Sánchez Casal, Resident Director, Tufts in Madrid 
Jeanne Fourneyron, Resident Director, Tufts in Paris 
Ute Link, Resident Director, Tufts in Tübingen