To members of our SC&I community, our friends, colleagues, and students,
We have witnessed the range of anti-Black violence that have filled our screens over the last few weeks. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd.
We are writing to make clear that, as a community, we stand together in pain, rage, and solidarity against the everyday violence that threatens Black people living in the United States. While we all witnessed the horrifying lynching of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis, we also acknowledge that police violence and brutality is just one manifestation of structural racism and anti-blackness. As scholars committed to an equitable and democratic society, we understand that racial injustice manifests in housing, education, healthcare, criminal justice, and everyday encounters. We know that, as we write, COVID-19 is disproportionately harming Black and Brown people in the United States.
Our hearts go out to the Black colleagues and students in our SC&I community and beyond, who are experiencing the strain of continuing injustices, brutality, and inhuman actions that persist in our society that stem from racist systems of oppression. We in the Diversity Committee of SC&I stand today re-committed to be here for you and to continue our work of ongoing education and systemic transformation within SC&I to create an environment that is exemplary of social justice, equality, and safety, to fullest extent possible.
As our mission is to research human communication, media and information, and to educate the next generation of scholars, practitioners, and citizens in our fields, we are also voicing our alarm at the discriminatory and retaliatory treatment by police of journalists covering the current events, as but one additional symptom of the ills that need to be eradicated. We also see in full effect, the growing problem of misinformation strategies being utilized by a range of bad actors to foment further confusion, misdirection and chaos and we recognize the work being done by many in our community to counter these forces and their influence.
We stand hand in hand to bring a better future for Black and Brown people in America and for our country. We are honored to renew our commitment to this work.
On behalf of members of the Diversity Committee:
Alexa Hepburn, Amy Jordan, Dafna Lemish, Rebecca Reynolds, Khadijah White, and Taylor White-Welchen