A Message to the ISEP Community

June 3, 2020

Dear ISEP community,

As a global organization of over 350 universities, ISEP is committed to expanding opportunities for students to participate in cultural exchange, regardless of their racial, ethnic, or cultural identity. The principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion are integral to ISEP’s mission statement, which is to create a more just and equitable world for all. Our staff understands that this goal is not easily achievable or quantifiable. Instead, we work towards this goal by uplifting the marginalized and underrepresented voices within our global community, particularly when they are victims of discrimination and systemic racism.

The unjust murders of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade - and countless other Black Americans throughout our history - have exposed the many disparities that still exist between white and black citizens. In the wake of these deaths, people have come together in cities across the globe in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement to articulate their anger at the systematic disenfranchisement, violence, and marginalization that Black Americans and Americans of color have faced for generations.

ISEP believes that black lives matter. We strongly condemn police brutality, hate crimes, discrimination, microaggressions, and all other overt and covert forms of racism against black people and people of color.

We believe that as an international community, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and one another when we see or experience injustice. As a community of people who have studied and worked abroad, we are already part of a privileged population that has benefited from the lessons that are taught through experiencing cultures different from our own. We suspend judgment, we listen, we ask questions, and we practice empathy. It is the time to remember these lessons and apply them to our own communities.

Like many moments of civil unrest, this should be a moment of active learning and understanding, not of violence or indifference. Our ISEP team is actively educating themselves on systemic racism, participating in peaceful protests, and having ongoing discussions about how they can take action to bring about justice and create positive change. This is an international movement with local Black Lives Matter chapters around the world; we encourage you to engage your community, your campuses, your classrooms, your family members and friends in honest dialogues to further racial justice, accountability, and growth - and we will do the same.

Be well and stay safe,

ISEP Study Abroad
ISEP Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce