As a member of the George Mason University community, the Center for Resilient and Sustainable Communities plays an integral role in building an educational environment that is committed to anti-racism and inclusive excellence. An anti-racist approach to higher education acknowledges the ways that individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural manifestations of racism against Black individuals and other people of color contribute to inequality and injustice in our classrooms, on our campuses, and in our communities, and it strives to provide our community members with resources to interrupt cycles of racism so as to cultivate a more equitable, inclusive, and just environment for all of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, and friends, regardless of racial background.
To be anti-racist means:
- To make constant, conscious decisions to interrupt racism and cultivate equity, inclusion, and justice for people of all racial backgrounds, and in particular those from Black communities and other communities of color, who are most likely to bear the direct and indirect costs of systems of white supremacy;
- To interrogate histories of white supremacy and white-dominant culture, and to examine the ways in which these histories have impacted our individual beliefs, our interpersonal relationships, our institutional and structural policies and processes, and our entire society;
- To make a commitment to being responsible for our own relationships to, and actions within, systems of white supremacy; and
- To cultivate a practice of self-awareness and self-reflection that allows us to critically evaluate our own role in upholding white supremacy and identify the ways we can interrupt cycles of racism at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels.
We believe that the work of anti-racism starts with each individual, and that in cultivating an anti-racist approach to research, scholarship, and practice, our students will build a skillset rooted in principles of equity, inclusion, and justice that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
C-RASC shares Mason’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. We recognize that diversity and inclusion enable resilience. Different ideas, backgrounds, and perspectives lead to stronger communities that find creative ways to withstand adversity and adapt to change. In our work with communities and within our center, we listen to a broad range of voices and include a wide range of ideas to help build more sustainable and resilient communities.
For more information on how to continuously cultivate the practice of anti-racism, see this guide from the National Museum of African American History and Culture on how to be anti-racist: https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race/topics/being-antiracist
[This antiracism statement was adapted from Dr. Charles Chavis, Assistant Professor in the Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter School of Peace and Conflict Resolution]