August 19, 2017

In the wake of the insidious incidents of protest by “white supremacists” and subsequent violence brought on by their display of hatred, bigotry and racist ideologies, that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Center for Educational Opportunities for Descendants of the African Diaspora (CEODAD) stand in solidarity with other Black/African Americans, Jewish citizens and other populations marginalized by the oppression systemic structures, historically prevalent, and which continue to rear its ugly head years after the Civil War.

We have long been aware that there has been a smoldering wick, a simmering fire of groups of white supremacists who have been waiting in the shadows, for what they deemed, an appropriate time to fan the flames of continued oppression and subjugation. It seems Charlottesville was that time. Yet, what they have no cognizance of, is that, those of us who may have been sleeping at one time, are today, wide awake. We know that we can lift our voices loud, in solidarity with others who stand on the side of justice, and publicly denounce any forms of racism, anti-Semitism, Jim Crow reenactment, and all other behavior against humanity that serves to harm.

It was Martin Luther King, Jr. (1965) who shared, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. As community psychologists, educators, researchers, community activists, dismantlers of walls of separation and hatred, and gatekeepers, we will not be silent about this, and any other situation that matters. Thus, we rise up, or sit down, which ever position is necessary to protest the atrocities that have been perpetrated against human beings based on skin color, religion or other diversity.

No, we will not be silent. Instead, we mourn, but also owe our gratitude for Heather Heyer, murdered in Charlottesville, and her parents for having the courage to publicly denounce the hatred of white supremacists, living out Heather’s desire for justice in America. We take their courage and place it on our backs, condemning the driver of that car. And, no matter whether the courts deemed that atrocious act, second-degree murder, we are prudent enough to know, it was really premediated, deliberate and the act of a coward.

Sadly, we do not have leaders in the highest office in America who stand for justice, and who unite, but instead push forward and uphold bigotry, racism, and most of all, hate. Yet, this is a platform that is doomed for failure, and is rapidly crumbling right before our eyes. To this end, CEODAD is within its legal right to call for a formal dismantling of a White House that divides our nation. As investors in this nation, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, whether some like it or not, we have a voice in its health and well-being. We use our voices here, to say, “Count us in.” Count us in as soldiers, and we come along side of those on the side of the oppressed and marginalized, and those treated as second-class citizens.

CEODAD encourages all community psychologists, community activists, educators, researchers, and all others siding for the unmitigated end to racism, violence and its kin, to use social media, practice, your classrooms, policymaking, conferences, and all other public platforms to push forward an agenda of love, introspection when needed, and lift your voices in solidarity. The time for action is here.

Nelson Mandala once spoke these words, “Action without vision is only passing time, vision without action is merely day dreaming, but vision with action can change the world.” Consider the world changed.

In solidarity with our allies,

Geraldine L. Palmer, Ph.D., Co-founder

Loraine R. Palmer Snead, Co-founder

On behalf of,

Center for Educational Opportunities for Descendants of the African Diaspora (CEODAD)





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