B-MEIS Statement on Racial Injustice and Inequality
In the past couples of weeks-In the mid of a global pandemic where the cycle of unequal social distribution of resources and disadvantages has been magnified and perpetuated-the whole world also has witnessed how the unjust structures of a society have convulsed into a perfect storm, crystalized into the wrongful death of George Floyd and a multitude of precious lives before him. Many of us have been dignified by the fact that a long-standing democratic institution like the United States, are capable of inflicting this magnitude of abuse and violence on their own fellow countrymen. In our rush to condemn police brutality and state-sanctioned violence in this matter, many of us feel compelled to turn our gaze inward: Where does this source of violence reside and spring from? How can we account for our share of culpability?
B-MEIS, a TESOL International Association interest section, believes that educators can be change agents through the practice of reflective pedagogies. We entertain no illusion that embracing multilingual education alone can reverse racism and social injustice, for we know too well that racism as sediments of time and history is rooted in the entangling relations among language, power and other multifaceted dimensions. Only through a collective will can we work to break free from the powerful grip of racism.
Hence, we resolve that multilingual education can and must be a strategic piece of the puzzle toward building a more just future. To this goal, we are committed to leveraging reflective pedagogies to advance diversity, equity and inclusion moving forward. We join the Black Lives Matter and other minority communities in solidarity. Ironically, in a thundering tone echoing throughout the world, this current movement has also taught us so much on how to "Learn to Listen, Listen to Learn". To not let our memory of this series of tragic events ever elapse into oblivion, we vow to continue to build on this momentum by continuing to foster critical discourses and fight against racism through the cycle of listen, learn, amplify and act.