Anthea Butler is an associate professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of "Women in the Church of God in Christ: Making A Sanctified World" (University of North Carolina Press). Follow her on Twitter: @antheabutler. Kevin Gannon serves as Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and Professor of History at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the author of Radical Hope: A Manifesto (West Virginia University Press). The views expressed in this commentary are their own. View more opinion on CNN.
(CNN)It is a misconception to think that Universities are not engaged in the world around them. Much of the time, they are shaping the cities and towns that they are in, for good and for ill. The truth of the matter is, our colleges and universities also suffer from the problems of racism, policing and violence. We are not immune from the issues that are going on in the nation. Many of our students were engaged in protests this summer or have experienced racism on and off campus.