Many students, staff, faculty, and alumni at the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) are profoundly troubled by a University of Chicago faculty member’s decision to invite Steve Bannon to speak at the University.
At SSA, we are committed to working toward a just and humane society. As a school of social work we are bound to the profession’s core values of social justice and human dignity, which compel us to work against all forms of injustice and oppression. We also hold high the values of inclusion, equity, and diversity as fundamental elements of a rich educational climate.
Throughout his career Steve Bannon has repeatedly espoused white supremacist views that stand in direct opposition to these values. The conflicts between Bannon’s hateful rhetoric and SSA’s core principles are not intellectual distinctions, but fundamental differences in recognizing the very worth and dignity of every person.
We are committed to academic freedom and to the free exchange of ideas. However, amid the discourse on freedom of expression on college campuses, it is essential that we acknowledge that some members of our community are uniquely at risk of being harmed by expressions that question their intellect, culture, humanity and whether they belong in this country. In the midst of painful events such as this, our community recommits to the values that we hold dear, stands in opposition to the ideology of hate and exclusion that Bannon promotes, and remains steadfast in full support of those most directly affected.