'Bereavement leave' recommended by prof for black educators dealing with trauma of racism

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Angel Jones, a critical race theory scholar and Southern Illinois University visiting professor, has called for higher education to provide bereavement leave to “black faculty and staff” after “traumatic events” in a February 23 piece published by Times Higher Education titled “Where’s our Black bereavement leave?” 

“I am a proud educator who loves what I do. But before that, I am a Black woman. A Black woman who is expected to return to ‘business as usual’ on Monday after seeing a member of my community murdered on Friday,” Jones wrote, referring to the Friday, January 27 release of the Tyre Nichols police stop video.

Tyre Nichols was a 29-year-old black man who died after his alleged beating, which was captured on bodycam, at the hands of five black Memphis Police Department officers,

Jones started her piece by saying she views it as part of her job to create environments for students that are “soul-affirming” and that she supports them “holistically, not just academically.” She said one way she accomplishes this goal is by affirming to her students “the impact societal events may have on them personally and professionally.” She said she sent emails to her students after the Nichols video to inform them about the video and did so with “tears streaming down” her face. 

She also cried when she sent similar emails in the past and cried again because she will have to “send them in the future.” 

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