IATEFL Statement on racial discrimination and police violence

5th June 2020

The world has recently watched with sadness and shock, the brutal killing of an African American in the US, with a police officer being charged with his murder. We at IATEFL have been embittered by this inhumane action which questions the very fundamental moral values we share as a community. The killing of George Floyd is only one of many examples of the moral depravity that is still deeply entrenched in human society and which we, as educators need to combat in every way possible.

As an international organisation of English Language Teaching professionals, IATEFL is committed to being an inclusive association which welcomes diversity and respectful debate. In our own practices and policies, we act in ways that encourage this diversity and professional discussion and oppose discrimination of any kind in ELT. We celebrate the differences within our membership as a symbol of human strength in unity of purpose and condemn any practices that promote the systematic othering of people on the basis of race, gender, abilities, sexual orientation or language background.

Our world is currently grappling with the extreme challenges of a global pandemic which continues to inflict serious strain on individuals and countries. This is a time when we need love, compassion, understanding and solidarity more than anything. We cannot afford to continue living the injustices of racial or any other forms of discrimination. We therefore condemn in unequivocal terms, the brutal killing of George Floyd and the continuous violence against vulnerable people, around the world, at the hands of officers whose duty it is to protect life.

We believe that language has the potential to unite the world. As an association whose mission is to link, develop and support English Language Teaching professionals worldwide, we are aware of the importance of language education in building a new world order where social justice, mutual understanding and respect govern human actions. We continue to strive to promote these values and call on our members and Associates to do the same so that, together, we can help shape a better generation.

The Board of Trustees of IATEFL