UPUA Meeting March 23, 2022

Penn State's University Park Undergraduate Association holds its weekly meeting on Wednesday, March 23, 2022.

Penn State’s University Park Undergraduate Association unanimously passed Resolution #28-16: “In Support of Educator’s Rights to Teach about Racism and to Oppose Anti-Critical Race Theory Legislation” during its weekly meeting Wednesday night.

According to the resolution, CRT “provides a research-based framework for understanding how the social construct of race and the impact of racism are present in the work of educators and policymakers."

Critical race theory has been analyzed in academic institutions since the 1970s, and many scholars consider the theory to be a complex array of ideas about racial discrimination inherently incorporated within U.S. law systems, social normalcies and economic programs.

Over the years, the theory spread into far-ranging academic circles, which sparked inspiration for dozens of books, law review articles and conferences about racial prejudices, CNN said.

Kimberlé Crenshaw, a law professor who helped coin the terminology of “critical race theory,” said the true definition of the term has been lost and misconstrued over time, according to The Atlantic.

Crenshaw said the ideas contained within CRT could best be described as “a way of looking at law’s role platforming, facilitating, producing and even insulating racial inequality in our country.”

The Oxford English Dictionary defines academic freedom as “the freedom of a teacher to state personal opinions openly without censorship, or without the fear of professional disadvantage,” according to the resolution.

The resolution passed said the “banning or restriction” of CRT “poses a direct threat to academic freedom, which not only impacts this issue but sets a dangerous precedent.”

Pennsylvania Rep. Russ Diamond (R-102) introduced Pennsylvania H.B.1532, “an act providing for restrictions on racist and sexist concepts, for contracts, for penalty and for private cause of action,” according to the resolution.

According to the resolution, “this sort of legislation represents recent attempts to politicize classrooms across the United States and to push an anti-CRT agenda.”

UPUA, according to the resolution, “shall oppose Pennsylvania H.B. 1532 and any future efforts from the state legislature to further attack educational equity and the rights of educators to teach about racism.”

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