In the week after the jurors delivered a guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd, the Office of Diversity & Social Justice and the President’s Commission on Cultural Diversity & Inclusion at Millersville University hosted 25 individuals for “The Verdict; What Needs Doing?”
Participants, as co-teachers and co-learners, discussed their personal experiences as university citizens.
Understanding was made visible while listening to everyone’s voice and everyone’s experiences in a process developed in social movements from the past. Themes of personal safety, living in fear and the desire to help, emerged from the leadership collective. This participatory action / popular education session resulted in a few action steps to be considered and taken by the group as co-leaders.
“The Verdict” was facilitated by organizers because, “Change takes action and action comes from an educated citizenry founded on their most pressing needs.”
The group, which includes members of the Millersville University Police Department, decided that the best action is sustainable and most effective when led by an emergent educated university citizenry. Four action steps have been considered by the group. Both The Office of Diversity and Social Justice and President’s Commission on Cultural Diversity & Inclusion committed to support the group as they reconvene in the near future to:
- Develop a syllabus / curriculum that fundamentally alters the culture of policing at Millersville and contributes to new mindsets for all stakeholders.
- Works toward proactive mental health and mindfulness for MU law enforcement
- Designs and facilitates honest officer / student dialogues for mutual understanding,
- Conducts & supports student led participatory action / popular education workshops (sessions)
In addition to the empowered group as their own fundamental resource, links were provided for consideration.
- Adventures of a Radical Hillbilly, is a two-hour celebration of the power of Popular education in the past. https://youtu.be/qSwW0zc-QBQ
- Doughnut Economicsis interesting and informative. Our question is, how might this conceptually apply to the work you know needs doing and the hopes you have for change –https://www.ted.com/talks/kate_raworth_a_healthy_economy_should_be_designed_to_thrive_not_grow#t-932469
For more information contact:
Dr. Felicia Brown-Haywood
Chief Diversity Officer
Dr. Wanja Ogongi
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
Dr. Thomas Neuville
Professor/Coordinator, Integrated Studies
Dr. Tyrone Washington
Associate Professor, Mathematics