The school of education is uniquely positioned to be a change agent.
We are committed to ensuring that the future teachers, counselors, and leaders that we educate recognize and accept diversity, and are empowered to drive equality in the communities they choose to serve.
Social Justice is a Guiding Principle.
One of the Guiding Principles in the School of Education is belief in Social Justice.
This belief assumes the importance of education as a major pathway toward the values of democracy and equity. The School of Education promotes lifelong learning as a purposeful activity that advances global citizenship and a just society.
The Drake University School of Education is committed to diversity and inclusivity. As members of the School of Education, we strive to work toward an affirming learning and teaching environment. We do so by seeking to educate culturally responsive professionals who are able to work effectively with all stakeholders. Aligned with our commitment to academic reflection, collaborative learning and social justice, we seek to facilitate the development of our students as reflective practitioners, critical thinkers, and public intellectuals.
Like many of you, I have struggled to process the events of the past week. The killing of George Floyd, by a white police officer, was yet another tragic example of America’s systemic assault on Black lives.
Schools, like law enforcement agencies, are guilty of perpetuating racism and violence. While we as educators do not wield guns, tear gas, or tasers, we hold the power to keep Black students out of gifted programs and advanced courses and in pipelines to low-wage jobs, limited opportunities and prison-like discipline. And schools and police departments can conspire to derail the promising life prospects of Black kids.
As a white man in a leadership role at a predominantly white institution that trains future teachers, counselors and administrators, I am obligated to listen, lead and use my privilege for the benefit of others. I’m learning from educators of color, like Dr. Mary Rice-Boothe and her searing post “I’m Not Okay.” I’m also taking advantage of resources at Drake University, like these Toolkits for Action on Social Justice.
But listening and learning is not enough, nor is an individual response to an institutional problem. The burden to speak out and take action must be a collective endeavor and it must not fall only on People of Color. This effort is part of a shared goal to make the School of Education a place to engage in difficult conversations and to serve as a change agent through faculty, staff, student and alumni collaboration.
This is why I have convened a summer committee, with representation from each of these groups, to determine how we can better demonstrate explicitly anti-racist practices and in turn ensure the educators we train and support are prepared to take the courageous actions needed to dismantle a system of organized oppression. The committee met for the first time today, and I am inspired by the commitment to follow-through and to expand the coalition needed to make progress.
Grounded in our guiding principle of social justice, we will move forward in determined and deliberate ways. While the work won’t always be perfect, our efforts will be resolute and focused on ensuring the next generation does better than our generation in building a racially just and equitable society.
Dr. Ryan Wise
Dean of the School of Education
The purpose of the SOE’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Committee is to support faculty, staff, students, and stakeholders in meeting the tenets of the University and SOE equity statements in the praxis of our courses and interactions with colleagues and students.
The DEI Committee in the SOE is made up of faculty, staff, and students focused on three primary functions:
For university information and opportunities, consult the University's Diversity, Equity & Inclusion webpage.
Follow the School of Education on social media for current events and opportunities, #DEIDrake.
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America, by Jennifer Harvey, Drake Professor of Religion