This week, professors and university staff across the country plan to strike for 48-hours as part of the #ScholarStrike in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. The strike intends to disrupt the status quo so that university faculty members can express their disgust at the inherent racism still present in our society, and assure their students that they are fighting alongside them.
The #ScholarStrike was organized via social media by University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler and Grand View University professor Kevin Gannon. The two wrote on Twitter, "We believe it's of crucial importance for those of us in higher education to take a stand in solidarity with our students and the communities we serve."
The movement was created in response to recent police killings of African American men and women across America, such as Breonna Taylor and Jacob Blake.
For ASU, this professor strike will be most strongly felt by Barrett Honors College students, whose faculty have decided to join in to emphasize their belief that "our country's need for systemic social change takes precedence over our regularly scheduled curricula."
Barrett classes will be canceled Tuesday and Wednesday and replaced by "teach-ins," opportunities for students to learn about and discuss racial inequality in the United States. Both days will be full of sessions discussing nearly every aspect of race and injustice. Tuesday offers more structured lectures on topics like "Womanism and Intersectionality" and "Guns and Race," while Wednesday offers poetry readings, a three-hour teach-in, and a student-led discussion on race. These events are open to any ASU student, not just those in Barrett, and the Barrett faculty encourages everyone to attend at least one session. The schedule for the two days can be found here and here.
Barrett faculty acknowledges the additional disruption this creates in an already disrupted school year, but they explain that "carrying on as though things were normal suggests complicity with a system of violence that we cannot condone." Barrett is participating in this event to show their concern and care for their students, and they will be using their positions as educators to help in the best way they possibly can.
For more information on Barrett's involvement in the #ScholarStrike, go here.