Below is a message from Tulane University School of Social Work Dean Patrick Bordnick:
I have been at a loss for words and comprehension at the continuous public displays of racism, murder, violence, and hatred towards African Americans, Asians, and other marginalized groups. This past week we witnessed another traumatic series of events in a long history of violence and oppression. George Floyd is not the first black man to die at the hands of police, nor the first person of color to die in the name of hatred. Mourning these deaths, ending hatred, and our steadfast power to not stop, brings with it a call-to-action.
In the face of racism, hatred, brutality, murder, and violence, we must reaffirm our values and commitment as caring people, as social workers, and as educators. Social justice is not just a term we say, it is a call-to-action. Now is the time to live it through our advocacy and actions. We must engage in activities that “enhance the well-being and equitable treatment of diverse individuals,” as our mission states.
The lyrics of the song “Wake Up Everybody” are as relevant now as they were in 1975: “The world won't get no better If we just let it be, The world won't get no better We gotta change it, Just you and me” (Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes).
Now more than ever, it is important that we work against racism, police brutality, poverty, food insecurity, health and mental health disparities, unfair housing practices, violence, mass incarceration, and other injustices. Injustices never rest, and neither can we!
In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King said:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial 'outside agitator' idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.”
Patrick S. Bordnick, MPH, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
Tulane School of Social Work
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere