Through the Teach-In we aimed to spark a campus-wide conversation about the implications of this movement at Pratt. We sought to understand the operations of systemic racism inherent in institutions of higher learning in America, and to create dialogues around forms of racial privilege and the racial inequality at Pratt. We wanted to consider our students’ well-being in relation to social and racial justice. We wanted to analyze and celebrate Black aesthetics and allow for a critical engagement with racialized struggles in everyday life. We believe it is important to consider Black Lives Matter more broadly, from a historic and contemporary politics of racial capitalism. We strive to create a campus culture within which Black students, faculty, and staff enjoy the full support and respect of our campus. We had hopes that we could engage both our campus and the broader Brooklyn community in which we are situated.
The structure of the teach-in brought us all together in the mornings to share information, while the afternoons were breakout sessions, and the final session of the day brought everyone back in again. There were also open spaces for spontaneous, urgent, immediate, meetings and conversations.