Reaffirming the intrinsic value of our international community

Diversity; Global; Students

Our Global Programs Office recently responded to the currently political climate that is causing tension among the United States and so many others across the globe. Below is a statement from Carolyn Lesorogol, Professor and Associate Dean for Global Programs and Strategy, and Tammy Orahood, Director of Global Programs. 

Recently, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin posted a statement, which affirms and celebrates the international community at Washington University in St. Louis. We support the Chancellor’s sentiments regarding the centrality of students, staff and faculty from around the world who contribute in myriad ways to the success of the university’s mission. As tensions rise between the United States government and so many across the globe, it is more important than ever to remain steadfast in our commitment to being a welcoming place for people from across the world, nation and our local community.

The plight of asylum seekers and immigrants at the U.S. southern border who are fleeing violence and hardship in their home countries and are often being met with inhumane treatment is one stark example of unacceptable policies that violate ethical principles of social justice and humanitarian concern foundational to our professions. Furthermore, geopolitical tensions over numerous issues create potentially challenging situations for members of the Brown School community from these countries, as well as for our university partners around the world.

In the face of these ongoing challenges, the Brown School is and will remain proud to be the St. Louis home to international students, staff and faculty who enhance our community through their ideas, experiences and perspectives. They help ensure that our research and educational offerings are relevant, innovative and impactful locally and globally. Any barrier to recruiting the very best faculty, staff and students from across the world threatens our ability to fulfill the mission of our school, the pursuit of research and educational excellence for the purpose of advancing justice and change.

Policy decisions suggest that our policy and advocacy skills, at the local, state and federal level are critical. We must ensure that everyone in our community feels safe, and that we each take appropriate actions toward the goal of a just social contract for all people in the U.S. and across the globe.

At the Brown School, we are committed to actions that advance equity and bring about positive social change. There are a myriad of ways for all of us to be active, including the following: 

1. Educate yourself regarding current policies and newly emerging executive orders or legislation. Our stakeholders and communities depend on us to understand emerging policy decisions. We should make serious efforts to discern who will be affected and how, as well as identify opportunities to dissent and spur action to protect those made vulnerable by new policy actions.

2. Participate in action-oriented groups of your choice; help to craft a high impact action agenda.

3. Contact elected officials to share your individual position on local, state and federal policy issues.

4. Identify local and national organizations in which you can contribute your talents. For example, the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services in Texas (RAICES) has been instrumental in supporting separated and detained families at the border and others who are seeking asylum in the United States:

5. Help create an inclusive community by checking in with and showing support to our international students, staff, and faculty colleagues who might be distressed or concerned. 

Students who are feeling upset can find support by talking to Danielle Bristow, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, Tammy Orahood, Director of Global Programs, Linyun Fu, Manager of Global Programs or Carolyn Lesorogol, Associate Dean for Global Strategy and Programs.

We are a diverse and inclusive community that values all of our members!