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  • Carly Tagen-Dye

Pratt to Participate in the #ScholarStrike for Racial Justice

The #ScholarStrike for Racial Justice—two days of action and racial justice advocacy for North American universities—is set to take place this coming week on Tuesday, September 8 and Wednesday, September 9. Organized by scholars Anthea Butler (University of Pennsylvania) and Kevin Gannon (Grand View University), the Scholar Strike is a public teach-in on white supremacy, systematic racism and social justice. Organizers have encouraged students and staff to walk away from teaching and administrative duties in solidarity with Black lives in wake of the recent uprising of police brutality around the country. In a recent press statement, Butler and Ganon emphasize that it’s “of crucial importance for those of us in higher education to take a stand in solidarity with our students and the communities we serve.” Pratt professor Uzma Rivzi has compiled a Digital Tool Kit with information specific to our university. It includes a step-by-step approach to the strike, as well as ways that Pratt students and faculty can participate in and support the strike. Rivzi suggests:

  • For both days, whether or not you continue to follow your normal teaching schedule or meetings, please post an out-of-office email with information about the #ScholarStrike.

  • Follow #ScholarStrike on social media and express your support to make this action and our participation visible. Tag @PrattInstitute and @BLMPratt to build solidarity on campus.

  • Inform yourself on the issues, and discuss the strike with your students. If you are not striking personally, you can still talk about why strikes are an important way of leveraging collective power, and why you have made the decision to be in the classroom.

Other ways to show up include making space in online classrooms for discussions, sharing resources and hosting online teach-ins for your students. Rivzi has organized a Zoom teach-in for September 8 at 9:00 AM EST. Students can register here with their Pratt email addresses. It’s understood that not everyone has the ability to stop teaching or miss class. Interested persons are invited to participate in “whatever way feels most significant and impactful for you.” Rivzi states, “With the understanding that our own Black, Indigenous, and racialized faculty, librarians, staff, and students are bearing the burden of the current moment, we invite the Institute to support all those wanting to engage, and not penalize those who choose to participate in this action. More information and resources are available at the Scholar Strike’s website, as well as their Facebook and Twitter pages.


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