The Board of the Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) condemns the police brutality, institutionalized racism, white supremacy, and systemic social injustices that have led to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and millions of other Black people in the U.S. and globally. We affirm that Black Lives Matter and we stand in solidarity with those who protest injustice and rise up against dehumanization. 

But these words of solidarity are not enough. We must respond and act now. We call on CIES members to stand together to confront racism, hate, bigotry, and violence in all its forms. We also call on our academic and professional communities to examine critically the many ways racism manifests itself in education systems, including through  research, policy, and practice. We know as comparative and international education scholars that the forces of colonialism, imperialism, and development often lead to vast inequalities that reflect in deeply disparate education systems. As a Society of over 4,000 people across the world who have made education their life work, we urge education policy makers, leaders, and practitioners globally to work to eliminate all forms of racist, patriarchal, and colonial logic inherent in the educational enterprise.

As educators, we are professionally responsible to not only  react, but to act preemptively to call out and eradicate injustice anywhere it exists, including within schools, in higher education institutions, in international development practices, and within our selves. We urge you not to remain silent or passive in the face of what is simply unacceptable. Today and everyday, commit yourself to supporting Black people. These are some ways we can do that: join protests, confront our own internalized prejudices, use our scholarship to address injustice, mobilize our knowledge platforms to support transformative action, and donate to social justice and Black-serving organizations locally and globally. Today more than ever, we must work together not only to fight, heal, and transform our communities, but also to envision and enact a radically different future for our humanity and planet.

The CIES Board recognizes the need for critical introspection and commits to ensuring the Society’s principles, policies, and practices serve as mechanisms to support Black causes in the US and globally. To that end, we have reappointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Social and Policy Engagement and asked it to work closely with all CommitteesSIGs, and our black members in particular to guide us in identifying ways to center Black people and their needs in future CIES activities. We will use this opportunity to provide spaces within our organization that have the power to highlight the needs of our members, mobilize resources, and effect policies that will ensure that as an organization we remain committed and accountable to social justice issues.

Most importantly, we want to say to our Black members: we hear you, we grieve and empathize with you, we stand in solidarity with you, and we are ready to fight alongside you. 

We welcome any suggestions for how to take this movement forward. If you would like to share ideas or become involved in the Social and Policy Engagement Ad Hoc Committee or the UREAG Committee, please contact the CIES President and the Board at To immediately engage beyond CIES, please consider these resources for ways to support Black people.