On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota College Professionals Association, we want to reach out in this challenging time of executive action and public outcry. At our core, MCPA values passion, commitment, social justice, and equity. We believe in holistic development, community, and student success as our ultimate goal.
Recent Executive Orders and Presidential Memoranda issued by President Donald Trump run counter to our values as an organization and the work that we do to support our students and higher education professionals. These actions include, but are not limited to, orders and memoranda that target refugees, immigrants, and Muslims1; that order the building of a wall between Mexico and the southwestern United States2; that fund pipelines over the objections of Indigenous communities concerned about the risk of water pollution 3; and that defund reproductive and women’s health programs across the world.4 These targeted actions and concerning movements within our democracy challenge each of us to consider how we will respond. As a Board, we stand together in solidarity with people of all identities and backgrounds and rebuke any attempt to harm our students or remove their opportunity to seek an education.
For refugees, immigrants, Muslims, Indigenous people, and other marginalized communities of students and professional staff that we serve: we hear you. We see you. We value you. And most of all, we stand alongside you in creating a society where safety, self-determination, equity, and justice are paramount.
The MCPA Board’s decision to speak on these issues is not about partisan politics. It is a recognition that our values demand us to speak loud and clear in affirmation that we are better together and that dialogue can bridge the divides we encounter. Our students consistently need professionals who are willing to authentically advocate and support them especially in light of these recent actions. We must not back down in fear, but rather continue to stand together in community.
As we consider our new Equity and Inclusion Plan throughout this spring, we encourage you to reach out to MCPA about how we can best serve you and our students. Kind regards, Justin Martin President, Minnesota College Professionals Association
June 16th 2016
On behalf of the Minnesota College Professionals Association Board of Directors, we want to express our deep sadness and shock at the events in Orlando, Florida that took the lives of too many LGBTQIA+ individuals, particularly the Latinx LGBTQIA+ community. While condemning an act like this feels like too little, we do so in the strongest terms possible.
As an organization which stands for equity and inclusion in higher education and for equal access for all, targeted crimes of hate and bigotry stand in direct opposition to what we know to be true. All people deserve dignity, respect, and the safety of being able to celebrate their identities without fear of harassment. We want to call directly on our Muslim community, and Muslim allies and LGBTQIA+ kin – we see you. May we help to create continual visibility to your personhood and call out Islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia.
Institutionalized homophobia and racism still live within our culture and we ask that both our members and the wider community take time to challenge their own assumptions, consider new perspectives, and broaden our own ways of thinking. When faced with tragedy meant to inspire fear, we hope that our communities react with love and compassion. Through dialogue and the exchange of ideas, we can bring together marginalized communities instead of building walls between us.
As the days ahead bring pain alongside the slow process of healing, we reaffirm our commitment to providing safe, empowering, and affirming spaces on our campuses and in our communities for each person to live in safety and as their true selves.
Best regards, Justin Martin President, Minnesota College Professionals Association