“We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

. . . And who will join this standing up  

and the ones who stood without sweet company  

will sing and sing  

back into the mountains and  

if necessary   

even under the sea  

we are the ones we have been waiting for.”  

-June Jordan, “Poem for South African Women” Passion 1980 


“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” 


June Jordan’s poem was written in commemoration of the 1956 protest by nearly 50,000 South African women and children against the “dompas,” domestic passbook required for travel. The poem was delivered at the United Nations on August 9, 1978, and later published in Passion in 1980.  


“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” 


Although this statement from Jordan is not one that has traveled across the lips of the staff of the Drake Institute in the past year, I believe it captures our sentiments and our resolve in the face of continuing violence and brutality against black citizens and assaults—literal assaults—on our government and elected officials, democracy, and freedoms.  We strived throughout 2020 to offer responsive programming and build sustainable and systemic structures to support that programming, committing ourselves and the Institute to lead #read.watch.listen.act.teach. 

I write now to recommit to the change we in the Drake Institute began in 2020 and call your attention to the launch and success of one of our 2020-21 goals extending the reach of diversity, equity and inclusion programming beyond Ohio State through the Ohio Professional Development Consortium. Through that consortium, the Drake Institute and its partners in the Ohio Department of Higher EducationOhio Association of Community Colleges ,and colleges and universities across the state have reached over 500 college and university instructors to offer synchronous and asynchronous professional learning opportunities to support inclusive teaching.  Already, nearly 100 instructors have submitted reflections toward completion of the consortium inclusive teaching endorsement, a program comparable to the Drake Institute inclusive teaching endorsement. 


We in the Drake Institute look forward to continuing our work with our partners across the University and state of Ohio—and forming new partnerships in the service of social justice and teaching and learning.  


“We are the ones we have been waiting for.” 



I also want to take a moment to acknowledge the new staff members, graduate students, and faculty fellow who joined the Drake Institute in 2020 and 2021: Joy BaltaDeja Beamon, Eric BrinkmanLaura CottonErin MercurioShadia SilimanDavid SovicLaura Struve, and Anne Van 


I also want to acknowledge and thank Christy Anandappa, Drake Institute office administrative associate, who retired from the Institute and the University at the end of January. Christy served the Institute (and previously the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching) for many years. Always a steady, patient, and responsive member of our staff, Christy will be greatly missed. I wish her all happiness and joy in her retirement.