An Update from David and Chaka
David Bach, Senior Advisor to the Dean, Yale SOM & Chaka Booker, Managing Director, TBC Launch Team
Demand for change echoes across our country. Increasingly, we see people beginning a process of educating themselves, understanding their personal histories and searching for tools and skills to communicate their emotions, confront their entrenched biases and taking steps toward anti-racism both personally and community-wide. In many communities of color, however, this is nothing new. The denial of justice and the fight for human rights is generational, constant and often carries an untold price in employment, education, income and wealth, housing, legal systems, health and other areas. Righting historic wrongs and creating a just world must be done not only across communities, but across systems and sectors.
At the beginning of this month, Yale SOM Dean Kerwin Charles described the response to the killing of Mr. George Floyd by Minnesota police:
Seeing the callous brutality of the act, the cavalier disregarding of his pleas for help, and the failure of multiple officers to intervene has helped us all to understand and believe. It has also enkindled righteous anger, not only in the Black community but also among a broad cross-section of Americans repulsed by this event and by what it reveals about the policing experienced by many of their African American fellow citizens.
These feelings have found admirable expression in a wave of massive, multi-racial, and impassioned protests against police misconduct across the entire country. I think I speak for us all when I say that we at SOM affirm the pain that causes so many to gather and collectively raise their voices against racial injustice. Further, consistent with our distinctive mission, I believe that we are motivated by their example to work to help eradicate the structures of racialized bias and power that give rise to injustice. Some work before each of us must occur in our private lives as citizens and neighbors and friends. In the professional sphere, management and leadership skills of the sort developed at SOM will be essential for reforming police departments and to identify and empower good police officers. This repeating cycle of societal pain must end, and I have every confidence that we will do our part to bring that about.... As these protests raging around the country indicate, Mr. Floyd's death may be the catalyzing spur that prompts us—all of us—to ensure that racialized police treatment is consigned to history's garbage pile.
We share Kerwin’s message to highlight the continued work at Yale SOM to research and partner with organizations looking to effect change and to build a society that is unlike the one of our past, one that has held to racist practices and abhorrent treatment of marginalized groups. Together, and at every level of our organizations, we must commit to bringing about drastic change.