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Comments from our Interim Executive Director

June 2020

photo of Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD
Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD

Early this week, Dr. Gregory Anderson, Dean of the College of Education at Temple University, sent a letter to the College staff. The entirety of that letter is below.

As the Interim Executive Director of the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University, College of Education, I echo his sentiments and am proud that the Institute is associated with such a social justice oriented college, one that has chosen to make such an important statement at this time.

So much of the Institute's work is at the intersection of ableism and racism. Racism cannot exist without ableism; it is part of the same eugenic history. We can't expect others to take up the anti-ableist fight with us, if we aren't anti-racist. We can't uphold the rights and dignity of people with disabilities and leave Black people and other people of color out in the cold.

Lastly, I'm sharing the statement from the National Disability Rights Network: NDRN Statement on the Death of George Floyd.

I am so proud of our work and our staff's continued commitment to creativity, flexibility and social justice.

I invite you to read Dean Anderson's comments and please know that the entire staff of the Institute appreciates your support.

Signature of Sally Gould-Taylor
Sally Gould-Taylor, PhD
Interim Executive Director
Institute on Disabilities at Temple University
College of Education


Letter from Dean Gregory Anderson


June 1, 2020

To the College of Education Community:

As many of you have witnessed in person, or via social media and television, the nation is grappling with the consequences of centuries of racial discrimination and inequality. Recent tragic events resulting in the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have catalyzed citizens to peacefully protest racial oppression and demand equal rights and justice for all.

A crisis such as this calls for leadership that seeks to unite, not divide. Our community cannot stand by silently during these distressing times if we are an organization committed to principles of social justice. As dean, I am expressing support for communities here in Philadelphia and across the country disproportionately impacted by racism and violence and asking all of you who believe in equality of opportunity and fairness to join me in seeking productive ways to bring about positive social change and justice for all.

In doing so, I respectfully urge everyone who did not directly participate in demonstrations to avoid drawing hasty conclusions involving protesters especially in relation to how recent civil unrest has been accompanied by dangerous behavior and the destruction of property. Although there is no place in a just society for such reckless and illegal activities, it is critical to acknowledge that there will always be individuals as well as some clusters of people who seek to exploit human frustration and suffering for their own selfish purposes and/or detestable intentions. This sad realization should not, however, diminish the legitimate claims for equal rights that are being peacefully expressed in good conscience and in solidarity with communities of color seeking social justice.

As a community of learners, teachers, scholars, researchers, clinicians, leaders and concerned citizens committed to access to quality education and social justice for all, we are well-equipped to help others understand how to process, analyze and cope with the confluence of factors and conditions undergirding such a painful and troubling period in our country's history.

We offer many opportunities to learn about how to use education as a tool for social justice, including but not limited to the College's book club, the Dean's Lecture Series, our diverse student organizations, our non-profit partners, and our Centers and Institutes (Institute on Disabilities, Intergenerational Center, Center for Assessment, Evaluation, and Education Policy Analysis) that support local communities, individuals and families. Please stay safe and healthy.

Respectfully,

Dean Gregory M. Anderson

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