My commitment to racial justice developed in part due to my experiences majoring in the Woodrow Wilson School and participating in Sustained Dialogue on campus. I’m concerned about the tone of reactions from many alumni about the request of student advocates to rename places on campus.
I encourage people who care about the future of Princeton, our nation, and the world to read James Loewen’s Lies My Teacher Told Me and learn about the renaming of places in other countries. To understand the context of the discussions occurring, we must consider both the dominant narrative in America and the history of healing elsewhere after segregation, genocide, and colonization. For example, South Africans renamed places after apartheid.
As an educator, I hope the alumni community will interact respectfully with students who act as engaged citizens, regardless of whether we agree with their opinions. Let’s listen with an open mind, model civil discourse, and always consider how we can support bending the arc of the universe toward justice.