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Why I Declined an Award from My University

By Therese Quinn

Open Letter to The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Education

April 29, 2017

Office of the Dean
The University of Illinois at Chicago
1040 W. Harrison St. (MC 147)
Chicago IL 60607

Dear Dean Alfred Tatum and College of Education Community:

I am writing to thank the Department of Curriculum & Instruction for selecting me to receive public honor as a graduate of the College of Education (COE). However, after discussions with members of the College’s Decolonize Education Coalition, reviewing the data and analyses posted on the group’s Tumblr (Views From the Silenced), and reflection on my experiences as a COE graduate student, I feel that I must decline this award as well as participation in the honoree events. Because of my high regard for the COE, I don’t take this decision lightly. Yet, as the Nicaraguan poet Giocanda Belli wrote, “Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples.” I offer this open letter to explain why I have chosen to forego this award and stand in solidarity with the students of COE and the Decolonize Education Coalition.

Learning Resistance and Building Solidarity: Black Lives Matter North of the 49th

By Shayna Plaut, Contributing Editor, Human Rights

“Ally is a complicated word; sometimes accomplice is better. Accomplices put their body on the line.”
– Dr. JP Catungal, Critical Gender and Sexualities Studies

As I joined the growing number of people standing vigil with Black Lives Matter Vancouver on Sunday July 10th, I immediately recognized Constance Barnes, a charismatic mover and shaker in the worlds of culture, green space and electoral politics of Vancouver. The last time I had seen her was four years ago. We hugged, then standing back she shook her head, “fuckin’ really? I mean, fuckin’ really? This is why my mother and father left the States 60 years ago. And here we are, again?”

“The U.S. and Israel Make the Connections for US”: Anti-Imperialism and Black-Palestinian Solidarity

By Nadine Naber[i]

Dr. Nadine Naber explores Black-Palestinian solidarity in this excerpt from her forthcoming article in the Critical Ethnic Studies Association journal, Volume 3, Issue 2.

In the summer 2014, as activists in Ferguson, Missouri, faced the military-grade weapons of four city and state police departments—tear gas, smoke bombs, stun grenades and tanks, Gazans were confronting Israel’s heavy artillery shelling, massive use of cannons, mortars, and half-ton to one-ton missiles.[ii] The canisters fired in both Gaza and Ferguson were U.S.-made.[iii] Worldwide, activists began making ideological and human connections, especially in Ferguson and Palestine. Ferguson protesters held up signs affirming their solidarity with Palestinians, while Palestinians issued Palestine solidarity statements, including advice on how to deal with tear gas.[iv]