We, the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families, are outraged by and unequivocally condemn the violent killing of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. We grieve for Mr. Floyd and for all victims—named and unnamed—of racist violence.
We unite in solidarity with our nation’s Black communities in calling for action and change. We seek an end to anti-Black racism and we affirm that Black Lives Matter.
As our country attempts to reckon with the enduring legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, and mass incarceration—a cumulative 400-plus years of oppression of Black people—words alone are insufficient. As a Center whose mission involves understanding and reducing inequities, we firmly commit to the work of building racial equity in our nation and effecting change in our institutions, programs, and policies to impact people’s lives for the better.
Research can and should play a role in informing necessary reforms. Research can shine a light on where racial/ethnic disparities exist and call attention to the root causes of such disparities. Importantly, every resident of the United States brings strengths and contributions that collectively build the unique fabric of our nation. For too long, as individuals, and as researchers, we have neglected and dismissed those strengths from communities of color. Now, as researchers, we must commit to countering the deficit-focused narratives that too often dominate the discourse. As researchers, we also must propose and study community-informed solutions that redress inequities, build on strengths, and help actualize promise for all. And, we must nurture the next generation of scholars, including and especially scholars from communities of color.
But research is not enough. Combating racism requires that all of us acknowledge how we have been complicit in a system that denies access to opportunity, resources, and dignity to so many people in our Black, American Indian, Latinx, and Asian communities. We must also demand systemic change in our institutions that all too often create and maintain inequalities.
In the words of Dolores Huerta, “every person [is] a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”