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We've made a PACT to ACT: PACT's statement addressing the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement and societal racism

The recent, senseless murders of Black men and women at the hands of police have brought to the forefront what some had forgotten or chosen to ignore -- systematic oppression, marginalization, and discounting the lives of persons of color. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and the countless named and unnamed deaths have ignited a fervent and passionate movement to stand against injustice and summon social justice.

Parents And Children Together (PACT) stands united with families and communities in the fight against institutional racism, xenophobia, police brutality, and oppression of the marginalized or minoritized. We stand with the Black Lives Matters movement and others committed to an anti-racist society. We have been and will continue to work toward anti-racism in our ideals and actions. As this renewed movement begins, we commit not only word but deed.  

PACT acknowledges the racist and oppressive history of higher education and science, and the systemic racism and marginalization that continues to operate in both. PACT will continue to bridge the gap between communities and universities, recognizing the institutional privilege that has contributed to the oppression of marginalized and minoritized groups. We will do this through advancing social justice, contributing to allyship, promoting multicultural competency, and fostering cultural sensitivity. We will also continue to elevate and amplify the strengths, joys, and humanity of families and communities of color.

We believe through collective, measurable actions we all become accountable to realize the systemic change we desire. We make a PACT to the children, youth, and families of today and the future to work collectively to identify and eradicate racism, oppression, and marginalization in our work, communities, and institutions. To begin this process, we will:

  • Increase trainings provided on multicultural education and cultural sensitivity for our PACT investigators, research staff, PACT students, and larger academic community at Penn State
  • Continue to encourage and support strengths-based research among communities of color
  • Work to increase access to resources for children, youth, and families in the greater Harrisburg area
  • Working with our Steering Committee and Community Advisory Board, conduct a strategic review of who we are and where we want to go, as well as create measures to hold ourselves accountable
  • Collaborate with our Community Advisory Board to identify and implement additional initiatives to foster an antiracist society, starting locally
  • Support and encourage change in developmental science through the greater inclusion of children and families of color in research, through publications and other dissemination efforts as well as national professional service and committee work
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