A Statement from Your NAPAHE Board of Directors
The leadership of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education stands with those who believe that equal justice under the law is not a theory, but a fundamental human right which no just government may abrogate. The murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor, to name but a recent few in the ever-growing list of Black victims of systemic racism, represent the failure to secure this fundamental human right.
The point at which we find ourselves today is an indictment not just of society in general, but a particular condemnation of the American system of higher education, to which the members of this Association have dedicated their professional lives. We believe Nelson Mandela was correct when in 2013 he said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Insofar as inequity and systems of oppression in the United States and elsewhere have been and continue to be sustained by ignorance, we must acknowledge a failure on the part of those of us whose calling is education.
Although we cannot assume responsibility for the entirety of this failure, neither can we abdicate our accountability to confront those facets of this failure over which our purview, essential to the good order of our respective institutions, gives us the privilege of influence.
As NAPAHE has long exhorted its members to "lead from where you are," let us now encourage and inspire one another to be leaders in facilitating higher education's redress of its past complicities in sustaining systems of injustice and inequality.