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Inside Higher Ed: More Colleges Should Divest From the Institution of Policing

Read Inside Higher Ed: More Colleges Should Divest From the Institution of Policing, by Charles H.F. Davis III and Jude Paul Matias Dizon, from Inside Higher Ed, June 2, 2020. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday

What do you do when the public services that are asked to protect and serve no longer support your institutional goals for justice, equity and inclusion? Do you engage in more debates? Ask for more data? Or just say ‘No thank you.” Recently the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities made the bold move to change their working relationship with the Minneapolis Police Department following their officers participating and engaging in the murder of George Floyd. Inside Higher Ed recently shared an article saying more colleges and universities should follow suit.

“Last Wednesday, University of Minnesota president Joan Gable announced in a statement that the university will no longer enlist the Minneapolis Police Department’s services for “additional law enforcement support.” Gable also announced the university will discontinue contracting with the department for “additional support” needed for university events, including football games, and any specialized services, such as “K-9 explosive detection units.”

“The divestment arrives on the heels of the gruesome killing of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident who died after MPD officer Derek Chauvin was seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest May 25. Floyd’s last words as he cried out for his mother were all too familiar: “I can’t breathe.” While the department would later report Floyd’s death as a “medical incident,” years of evidence to the contrary, as well as eyewitness accounts that include a widely circulated video of the encounter, make clear this was no accident.”

by Charles H.F. Davis III and Jude Paul Matias Dizon, from Inside Higher Ed, June 2, 2020.

Continue reading Inside Higher Ed: More Colleges Should Divest From the Institution of Policing, by Charles H.F. Davis III and Jude Paul Matias Dizon, from Inside Higher Ed, June 2, 2020. Part of WiFi (What I Find Interesting) Wednesday

Listen To Your Students

When I worked in a multicultural affairs office at the start of my career, a black student who ran too close to a construction site on campus and was detained for days in the county jail. When my ethnic student leaders heard of the incident, they planned a peaceful protest on the quad in the free speech area. Because these were students I had trained to speak against injustice and inequality, I found no issue purchasing the protest sign equipment.

When I was called to answer to the Vice President for Student Affairs why we used institutional dollars to protest the campus police, I simply answered that my job was to teach students to identify these injustices and to help them plan programs that were within the policies of the institution, not to police their thoughts and actions. If they felt that the institution was at fault, we should listen to them. I still stand by my actions.

One of the results of this protest was a movement away from a law and order policing model to a community policing model. It took time but it was important to listen to the students. So, listen to your students. If we expect them to be leaders in their communities upon graduation, trust them when they are being leaders in their current community.


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