Newswise — The American Education Research Association grieves for all those who lost their lives to, and with all those who suffer from, the racist violence in the assault in Buffalo.
It is an outrage that racism, compounded by deadly weapons, continues to take innocent lives in our country. It is a further outrage that our society has not been able to transcend this wave of hatred and violence beyond counting and chronicling such unconscionable events.
The tragic deaths in Buffalo are part of a systemic problem that we have sadly needed to speak out about far too frequently before, including deadly shootings in Pittsburgh; at Santa Fe High School; at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School; at Sandy Hook Elementary School; in Charleston, S.C.; at Umpqua Community College; and in Orlando.
We can and must confront the dangers of systemic racism, white supremacy, and domestic terrorism with evidence-based strategies and solutions drawing upon what we know. Beyond federal leaders wisely examining instances like these as domestic terrorism, we encourage consideration of a federal blue-ribbon commission or high-level task force that brings together experts from relevant scientific and professional fields, including education research, mental health, criminal justice and others, to develop short- and long-term actionable steps.
We need to elevate these issues beyond the news cycle so that racism and acts of violence do not further grow and fester across our nation. In any such effort, AERA stands ready to collaborate and help.
In addition to this statement, we hope to provide a series of virtual discussions with experts across the disciplines of education to assist researchers as they build robust research agendas to address such violence, and to aid education policymakers and practitioners as they support young people, families, and communities during these challenging times.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is the largest national interdisciplinary research association devoted to the scientific study of education and learning. Founded in 1916, AERA advances knowledge about education, encourages scholarly inquiry related to education, and promotes the use of research to improve education and serve the public good. Find AERA on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.