I can’t breathe – School of Education & Human Development

I can’t breathe

Sunday May 31, 2020:

Tears come to my eyes as I write this. It is hard to write. It is hard to breathe. It is hard to know what to say, to think, to write – when the city, country and the world is on fire. I fear for our world and I fear for our future. I fear for my sons. I hope that you are holding those you love close, as I am. And I hope you find your breath, as Mr. Floyd could not. The pressure on his neck symbolizes the pressure we have felt for centuries and the pressure that is now exploding across the country and in our own community. We must do better. We must bridge the gap between what it is like to live with the ability to bird watch, jog, play loud music, get a traffic ticket, attend to an autistic client, have a car break down, or walk home with skittles – without threat of death - or not. Miami Dade County exemplifies the difference in challenges across racial groups in our community; with traffic congestion being the top concern among non-Hispanic white voters, and children being shot and killed the biggest worry among Black voters (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article76802747.html. Dialogue is not the answer but it is a beginning to facilitate change. We are planning a session of dialogue for the School of Education and Human Development students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. Details to follow. Other events planned for the UM community are below, along with statements and information. My wish is for social change, a life without fear, and the ability for all of us – regardless of race, religion or gender, to be able to breathe.

UM Multicultural Student Affairs and UM Counseling Center:

Discussing America Today

Monday, June 1, 2020
12:30pm EST
Via Zoom

UM Law School:


Racist Police Brutality and the Role of Law, Lawyers, and Law Enforcement in the Problem and its Solutions

Tuesday, June 2nd
12:30 to 2 pm

Hosted by Dean Tony Varona & BLSA President Ronnie Graham


Prof. Donna Coker, Miami Law 
Prof. Charlton Copeland, Miami Law
Prof. Angela J. Davis, American University Washington College of Law
-author/editor of Policing the Black Man
Prof. Osamudia James, Miami Law
Prof. Donald M. Jones, Miami Law

To register for free, click here.


AERA: https://www.aera.net/Newsroom/Presidential-Statement-on-Police-Killings-of-Black-People

APA: https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/05/racism-pandemic

Loyola Marymount Professor of Psychology Dr. Cheryl Grills: https://abc7.com/6222321/ 

University of Michigan Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Robert Sellers: https://odei.umich.edu/2020/05/29/i-am-so-tired/

Trauma: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/black-pain-gone-viral-racism-graphic-videos-can-create-ptsd-like-trauma?fbclid=IwAR19vGSv0HuM0EKVPctBS2Owvh-UydWbxLdAfKqKv4JAVv85fSoYg4Y__Gs


Dean Laura Kohn-Wood