Anti-racist Statement from the Department of Religious Studies

As faculty members in a public research university, we recognize our cultural and economic privilege. We are both caught up and complicit in institutions that perpetuate racism, sexism, and hegemony.

 

In response to the murders of Mr. Rayshard Brooks, Mr. George Floyd, Ms. Breonna Taylor, Mr. Ahmaud Arbery, Mr. Trayvon Martin, Mr. Michael Brown, Mr. Eric Garner, and many others, we stand with colleagues, students, and community members demonstrating against the institutions and structures that perpetuate hate and enable racist violence. As we stand together, we mourn and reflect on our personal and collective responsibilities to be actively anti-racist.

 

We recognize the great potential our diverse and innovative community has to overturn racist, sexist, and hegemonic structures as we reinvent it in the wake of the crises we now face. We commit to an anti-racist and inclusive environment in our department, programming, and classes. Our commitments include the following:

 

  • We will incorporate anti-racist pedagogical training into our faculty development and GTA teaching practicums;
  • We will revise materials on religion and race in RELS 2001 to incorporate current events and an anti-racist pedagogy;
  • We will require that all theory and methods courses include materials written by African-American scholars and other people of color;
  • We will amplify existing resources to help students, faculty, and staff report and respond to micro-aggressions and racism; and
  • We will develop a faculty mentoring program that acknowledges the obstacles faculty of color encounter because of racism, works to undo those structures, and provides specific support for faculty of color.