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At Loyola, we educate the educators on how to solve the systemic and universal challenges in our nation's schools. We believe the pursuit of equity in the education systems begins here. It is our responsibility, our passion, our calling.

At the School of Education, our mission calls us to embrace our human differences and recognize the inherent value in each person. We support safe spaces for open and respectful dialogue; thoughtful initiatives that serve to educate our students, faculty, and staff; and a warm and welcoming environment that makes it possible for all individuals to thrive regardless of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, age, or social class.

Our commitment to social justice is at the core of everything we do in the School of Education. We believe that training a diverse population of future educators will pave the way for not only equity in education, but systemic social equity. If students see changemakers at the front of the classroom, they will be empowered to take advantage of opportunities and envision to become agents of change, as well.

In Solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities: A Call to Be Persons for Others

Dear SOE Community,

As I write to you, the children, partners, families, and friends of Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Daoyou Feng, and Paul Andre Michels are shattered. Hate has taken from them and their families what is most precious and cannot be replaced. Our words can offer some solace, but our words are not enough. When parents are taken from their children, words cannot be enough. When someone's life partner is taken from them, words cannot be enough. When entire communities are under threat, words cannot be enough. 

The Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has long experienced discrimination, harassment, and violence; but for many of us, this is the first time we are taking the time to notice; to listen; to empathize. We have not done enough to learn about, call attention to, and address the identity-based violence AAPI communities have been experiencing. This is privilege. Privilege is not having to even be aware when people around us are being harmed and are in pain. This is how societies fail those who are most vulnerable. This is how society failed Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Yong Ae Yue, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Soon Chung Park, Daoyou Feng, and Paul Andre Michels.

No more.

To our AAPI community members, we see you, we stand with you, and we commit to doing the work to be better community members for you. Our work always starts at home; it starts with us.

What does our humanity demand we do? What does our Jesuit Catholic mission call us to do?

Our Jesuit Catholic mission calls us to learn more about the diverse AAPI diaspora. So, let's commit to teaching and learning about the identities, experiences, beliefs, and traditions, as well as the racism and xenophobia that AAPI communities experience. Through our teaching, we not only learn to value diversity, but we also learn how to combat hate. Our Jesuit Catholic mission also calls on us to stand with the AAPI community. To stand with someone or with a group means that we will be there with them when there is a threat of harm. To learn how to effectively stand with the AAPI community, please complete the Bystander Intervention training that is being offered by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Above all else, our humanity calls on us to deepen our ethic of care for our AAPI community members. Our capacity to care for our community members is boundless. Even in the midst of our own pain, we have the capacity to love more. This is why we have community. When a community member is hurting, someone else is there to lift them up. Let's be in community with our AAPI faculty, staff, and students. This is our mission...being a person for others. 

We know that this is a very difficult time, and sometimes you need more support. Please take steps to get the care you need. Loyola Wellness Center is offering drop-in and counseling sessions for those who may need it. Please find those resources here. For faculty and staff who would like support, available resources can be found here

In solidarity,

Markeda Newell
Interim Dean, School of Education 

In Honor of Women's History Month

As we begin Women's History Month, we are witnessing women continue to make history, tread new paths, and shatter glass ceilings! 

In government, we see Kamala Harris, Janet Yellen, Andrea Jenkins, Cori Bush, and Sarah McBride lead the way. In sports, Sarah Thomas, Kim Ng, and Sarah Fuller show us how to play and lead like a girl. In science, we witness Kizzmekia Corbett who is leading the way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. We finally have the first statues erected in honor of real-life women: Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton--all champions of women's rights. We also see a bright future for women when we honor Gitanjali Rao, a 15-year-old scientist and inventor, who was named Time's first Kid of the Year. We lift up Amanda Gorman, the first person named National Youth Poet Laureate who delivered the inaugural poem and was the first poet to perform at the Super Bowl. The list could go on and on.

While we are elated to honor those whom we all know, we should also honor those who may be unseen by the larger world.

In observance of Women's History Month, let us reflect on and honor the women in our lives who will never be known to anyone but those closest to us. We venerate our mothers, grandmothers, partners, sisters, aunts, daughters, cousins, friends, peers, and colleagues; not because of what they do for us, but because they are in this life journey with us. 

In solidarity,

Markeda Newell
Interim Dean, School of Education 

In Honor of Being: A Celebration of Black LivesĀ 

Black History Month was borne out of the important need to recognize the significant contributions Black people have made to the world. Recognizing and celebrating these contributions is critical because Black ingenuity, intellectualism, and creativity are often erased from our collective history as a means of maintaining racial oppression. Therefore, recognizing the achievements of Black people is a form of resistance that serves to dismantle racial oppression. 

In this moment though, I believe we are called to celebrate more than the achievements of Black people. We are living through the continued struggle for Black people to go to school, go to work, have families, move freely through the world...we are living in a time where Black people are fighting just to exist. 

In honor of Black History Month, let's commit to not only celebrating the achievements of Black people, but to also celebrate their lives. Black lives matter not because of any accomplishment; Black lives matter because Black people exist and that is enough. To truly value life, we must see people for who they are and not just what they do. When we see people for who they are, we see their humanity, their strengths and their flaws. We see their fullness as human beings that are worthy of life, freedom, autonomy, and self-determination. When we are able to honor Black life just for being then we not only honor Black history, but we also honor Black futures. 

In honor of being, celebrate Black life. 

Markeda Newell, PhD 
Interim Dean 

Our Time, Our Mission

As we start the Spring 2021 semester, we find ourselves falling deeper into social turmoil and upheaval. The brazen attempted insurrection that occurred at the U.S. Capitol left us in disbelief, but at the same time, was predictable. It was predictable because white supremacy and white nationalism are not only normalized in the US, but these mechanisms of oppression have become even more emboldened and weaponized through our body politic. The result: insurrectionists occupying the U.S. Capitol for hours with seeming impunity as we watched on our screens. 

All of this is occurring while we are preparing to start the Spring 2021 semester. We are trying to do something that is so normal and routine for us in a time that is anything but normal and routine. Preparing for class, getting books and course materials, completing field experiences, organizing meeting calendars, processing admissions, finishing a chapter or article may all seem out-of-place given that we are living through a global pandemic, ongoing racial unrest, and now an attempted insurrection. 

In times of great strife and uncertainty, it is important to revisit our why, which is our mission. 

School of Education Mission: The School of Education at Loyola University Chicago, a Jesuit Catholic urban university, supports the Jesuit ideal of knowledge in the service of humanity. We endeavor to advance professional education in service of social justice, engaged with Chicago, the nation, and the world. To achieve this vision, the School of Education participates in the discovery, development, demonstration, and dissemination of professional knowledge and practice within a context of ethics, service to others, and social justice. We fulfill this mission by preparing professionals to serve as teachers, administrators, psychologists, and researchers who work across the developmental continuum, and by conducting research on issues of professional practice and social justice.

Our mission is to transform our society to make it more just and equitable through education. This time in our history calls for us to revisit, embrace and advance our mission even more because our work can and will continue to help us dismantle educational, political, economic, and social systems of oppression and transform them into equitable systems of support, opportunity, and advancement for all of us. Our world needs this mission; therefore, our world needs us to do what we do best. I know that we can and will meet this moment for ourselves, our communities, and the larger world around us. 

Doing this work is not easy in the best of times, so I ask that you first and foremost take steps to care for yourselves and your families. Identify the self-care or support you need and take it. Beyond this, I ask that we each commit to an ethic of care as we work together because we will need to rely on and support each other as we navigate the times ahead. 

I look forward to the important work that we will do together this semester. Thank you all for all that you do, and please continue to take care.  

In solidarity, 

Markeda Newell, PhD 

Interim Dean