School’s out — for 48 hours.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still learn something.
College and university professors, staff, administrators, and students have been striking for two days now to raise awareness and spur action on racial injustice and police violence. While they take time away from their classrooms, many of which are still virtual because of the coronavirus, the professors have been hosting public teach-ins on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
The teach-ins were inspired by those that occurred during the 1960s to protest the Vietnam War, but rather than gathering folks on college campuses, they’re taking place on social media, with Twitter threads using the hashtag #ScholarStrike pointing to resources about racial injustice and YouTube videos about how to respond when you see racism in public spaces and other topics.
Dubbed “Scholar Strike,” the organizers — Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania and Kevin Gannon of Grand View University — cite the NBA and WNBA walkouts as inspiration in a CNN op-ed. The strike is described as an action “to underscore the urgent importance of addressing racism and injustice in the United States.”
To the folks who are upset that professors are striking, I ask you, why are you upset that we care about the lives of BIPOC and racism in America? Why are you comfortable with black deaths by police? What makes you scared of Critical Race theory? #ScholarStrike
— Scholar Strike (@ScholarStrike) September 9, 2020
“We’re not doing this because we’re mad at our institutions,” Butler told Inside Higher Ed. “I’m mad at the system that continues to allow a Black person to get shot seven times in the back and a white guy with a long gun walk off after he shoots people.”
“There’s a dual system of treatment in this country, where Black and brown people are treated differently than white people,” she continued. “We want to help people understand what this is really about. Why there are people out there fighting not to change that.”
Educators taking part in the strike were asked to refrain from their teaching and administrative duties for the 48 hours that constituted the strike on Tuesday and Wednesday. (Faculty members who are vulnerable, without tenure, or limited by contracts were encouraged to participate only how they were able.)
In the teach-in videos on YouTube, academics from different disciplines recorded brief lessons on topics concerning racial justice and police violence. You can find all of them here, and Mashable pulled together some highlights for anyone looking to learn more about racial justice.