As the events of the past few weeks have unfolded, you may be experiencing feelings of anger, outrage, and fear. Our communities, still struggling to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19, have erupted in a sea of emotion after the inexcusable and brutal death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020, at the hands, a white police officer catalyzed the continued fight to end inequality and racial injustice for the African American community. In response, people across the nation have taken to the streets demanding answers and social reform both in peaceful and violent protests adding layers of complexity and tragically, the additional loss of life.
Today, we stand at the opportunity for a change - our call to action apparent and our road forward unclear. As procurement leaders, we hold the ability to be an impactful part of that change. We are poised in an ideal position as campus-wide connectors to address the challenges of dismantling racism, injustice, and brutality. We have the opportunity to create safe spaces to discuss the experience of others and advocate for lasting social change. We must start by acknowledging that racism exists and that it impacts our campuses, communities, and lives, especially the exponential effect on black Americans and other communities of color. It is in unison with other campus leaders that we build campuses and communities that provide freedom from fear, injustice, and inequality.
Collectively, as NAEP, our individual voices are amplified in that pursuit. We stand together against racism and social injustice and will use the days ahead to look within our organization and identify ways we can be present in not only speaking but actualizing those changes. Now, it is our opportunity to listen to our members and our communities by allowing ourselves room to lean into the hard conversations and learn what is needed to enact meaningful change.It is only then that we can grow into a better tomorrow for our campuses and our world. We know the road forward will not be an easy one, but NAEP is committed to the pursuit of social change both inside and outside our organization. It is only together that we build a better future.
As our Diversity and Inclusion Committee forms for the 2020-2021 program year, we will be looking at these issues and finding ways to carry this conversation forward. If you are interested in being a part of that conversation, please volunteer by visiting Volunteer Opportunities.
Krista S. Ferrell, CPPO, CPPB