It is REOC’s obligation to become a part of the solution by advocating and supporting the pledges and policies that help to end systemic racism and social injustice. Our organization signed the Black Agenda Group’s declaration because we understand that racism IS a public health crisis, and it has a direct impact on the students and community we serve.
The President and Cabinet of SUNY Brockport informed REOC that they had signed the BAG declaration. During REOC’s Advisory Board meeting and Faculty/Staff meeting, we discussed the importance of not just signing it, but embodying the message of the declaration: racism goes hand in hand with public health, and it is our obligation to do something about it. Both our advisory board and faculty and staff encouraged us to sign it immediately, which we did. REOC believes that we need to be a part of this opportunity for positive change.
REOC has coordinated and implemented an Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) model within the guiding structures of our operational plan and have included professional and personal development opportunities to all staff members. We will add value and breadth to our current diversity model with the introduction of the new racism declaration. Our 2020 REOC Convocation focused on EDI. In addition, through various professional development opportunities, we addressed civility and structural racism. Several of our staff members have attended the Interrupt Racism Summit, and will present their learning to peers and colleagues upon their return. We believe that learning from, and with, each other is the most effective and engaging method of providing true meaning and growth to all we serve.