NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, URBAN LEAGUE OF LOUISIANA, XAVIER & DILLARD UNIVERSITIES,
JOIN NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION TO COMBAT EXTREMIST ATTACKS ON EDUCATION
AND OTHER RACIAL JUSTICE INITIATIVES
NEW ORLEANS (May 3, 2023) – Access to truthful history, diverse books and critical ideas for students and educators are crucial to the nation’s history as a multicultural democracy, National Urban League President Marc H. Morial said today in observance of the Freedom to Learn National Day of Action.
“The so-called ‘War on Wokeness’ threatens to eradicate decades of progress toward racial justice, by warping our view of the nation’s past, and thwart our future progress toward an equitable, multicultural society,” Morial said.
The Freedom to Learn National Day of Action, a campaign initiated by the African American Policy Forum, is an uprising in defense of truthful, inclusive education and efforts to remedy systemic racial inequities.
Morial and Urban League of Louisiana President and CEO Judy Reese Morse were joined at a media briefing by Urban League of the Upstate (South Carolina) President and CEO Dr. Gail Wilson Awan, Urban League of Rochester (New York) Dr. Seanelle Hawkins, Transformative Justice Coalition President & Founder, Barbara R. Arnwine, Esq.; Xavier University of Louisiana President Dr. C. Reynold Verret, and Dillard University Executive Vice President of Institutional Advancement Stephanie Rogers.
As highlighted in the National Urban League’s 2023 State of Black America® report, “Democracy in Peril: Confronting the Threat Within,” 21 states already have enacted measures that censor the honest examination of racism and race in American society, and the College Board has excised crucial material from its AP African American Studies curriculum in response.
The leaders called on the College Board:
- to restore the AP African American Studies curriculum.
- to commit to making the course available online to students who live in states in which politicians have enacted bans on books, knowledge, and ideas contained in the original curriculum that would prevent the course from being taught in those states.
- to conduct an independent investigation into how the course development process was corrupted by outside political forces.
- to hold all implicated College Board officials accountable.
“Our children have a right to be taught the truth in our nation’s classrooms,” Morial said. “It is a betrayal of democratic values for any responsible leader to actively participate in distorting or denying any part of our country’s history.”