“We Are Part of the Solution”

A reflection from NAFSA’s Executive Director and CEO.
Photo: Rosie Kerr/Unsplash
Esther D. Brimmer, DPhil

Today, the world stands together, collectively in pain. 

Yet again, we watch police kill another unarmed black man who is pleading for breath. We see again how far the United States is from the ideal of “Equal Justice Under Law.”

In too many instances, many captured on camera, and others far from the public’s gaze, brutality has prevailed, and justice has been denied. 

Around the world, people have gathered peacefully to express their anguish—as is their right.

The U.S. Constitution speaks of “the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.” 

In cities across the United States, and in sympathy around the world, protesters are calling for justice after the killing of George Floyd, the police murder of Breonna Taylor, and the weaponizing of a police call against an unarmed black birdwatcher in Central Park, as well as many other racially charged incidents all just in the last month. 

Yet even peaceful protest is under threat. Police used tear gas to break up the gathering of peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square to facilitate a presidential publicity stunt. Lafayette Square faces the White House and hosts symbols of citizen protest daily. That spot is only a couple blocks from NAFSA’s office. If you had been visiting the NAFSA office, you might have smelled the tear gas and seen people running for cover. 

The atrocity of George Floyd’s death comes in a season of tragedy as more than 100,000 people have

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