Higher Digital Statement in Response to the Murder of George Floyd and in Support of Black Lives Matter
We are outraged. We are hurt. We are determined to change.
All of us at Higher Digital are appalled and outraged at the unjust murder of another innocent black man at the hands of police officers. Like many other companies, we cannot and will not remain silent. We stand with our higher education community and the Black Lives Matter movement in committing to systemic reform and change.
The murder of George Floyd can be traced to origins over a century before the Declaration of Independence. Racism has a painful place in American history and continues to be deeply embedded across all facets of society. We see it. We also know that meaningful change only happens through unrelenting, persistent commitment and determination. How many more innocent black and brown lives need to be lost before something changes?
Two quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stand out:
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle.”
Most of us who work in education understand that an open mind and a commitment to learning is an antidote for racism. Racism is steeped in ignorance. Education becomes a strong solution for anyone brave enough to open oneself up to new ideas and perspectives – to seek understanding and truth.
And yet, higher education has its own historical challenges with systemic racism. Access and cost have been consistent barriers for low-to-modest income black families, and the current debt burden for many graduates is extraordinarily high. We must do better.
Progress is not good enough. We need to embrace and commit to meaningful transformational change. We are at a tipping point and everyone must commit to act for the long-term before this moment fades and we are trapped repeating this tragic historical pattern.
Higher Digital’s Five Calls to Action
We commit to taking an active role in supporting, funding, and advocating for the following as a company and as individuals and encourage others to do the same:
- Increase federal and corporate funding and active support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority serving institutions;
- Expand state and local investment across all higher education to dramatically lower costs and improve access for everyone who seek a degree or advancement;
- Donate to The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or any one of the many other organizations fighting for equality;
- Advocate that private institutions enroll more black and brown faculty and students and commit to expand diversity;
We recognize that this public statement is only one step in a “continuous struggle,” but we do hope that it will inspire others to acknowledge the moment and commit to an active anti-racist position. We ask our white friends, family, and colleagues, what will you do to act? To our friends, family, and colleagues of color, we are listening, and we stand with you. The time for transformational change is now.
We see the racism.
We commit to listening & learning.
We commit to change.