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College of Education Dean speaks out against racial injustice in the education system

In his message, College of Education Dean Bob McPherson highlighted the need to stop inequality in education and in health. | Lauren Gonzalez/The Cougar

In his message, College of Education dean Bob McPherson highlighted the need to stop inequality in education and in health. | Lauren Gonzalez/The Cougar

The College of Education dean addressed the death of George Floyd as well as actions the college will take in response to recent events regarding race. 

Dean Bob McPherson spoke out against inequality in the education and health systems, and advocated for putting an end to it.

“We must accelerate and expand our work to end the inequities in education and health that harm historically under-served populations,” McPherson said in a statement.  

The Black Lives Matter movement has become widespread across the globe, with protests emerging in various cities internationally. 

I support the Black Lives Matters movement as it draws attention to the inherent inequities of our justice system,”  McPherson said. “We are a country of laws, but we are also a country of prisons disproportionately populated by persons of color, especially black men.”

“George Floyd and the many others who have died in police custody underscore the urgent need for the United States to address our systemic racism,” McPherson added.

Eliminating disparity in education and health care are few of the shortcomings of systemic racism the College of Education is focused on. Their mission has always been “to improve educational and health outcomes for all children and families.”  

The University prides itself on its diversity, ranking as one of the most diverse public universities in the nation. 

While we celebrate our diversity at the University of Houston, we need to stop glossing over the overt and microaggressions experienced on a daily basis by our students, staff and faculty of color,” McPherson said.

The College of Education began taking action against racism by starting committees made up of staff and students that are brainstorming ideas to implement next semester.

Their actions plan to address implicit bias, educate students and faculty on the implications of systemic racism and build support for diverse communities where all voices can be heard. 

“As just one example, our teaching students in their junior year will read the book ‘Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You’ this fall before doing their student teaching,” he said.

In a statement, President Renu Khator spoke about what the University as a whole will be doing to combat racial injustice on our campus and in the greater community. 

“We are encouraged to hear motivated students speaking up and coming up with ideas and solutions”, Khator said.

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