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These past few weeks have been filled with pain, heartbreak, and suffering, especially so for the Black community. The sociology faculty is outraged by the ongoing acts of police violence against African Americans. We condemn the most recent incident, the murder of George Floyd at the knee of a white police officer as other officers assisted in pinning him down or silently stood guard. We support and stand with those who are protesting all forms of racism to bring about racial justice, equity, and a more humane society.

We want to affirm our shared values and strong support of African American students, staff, and faculty who feel the effects of an unjust system in untold ways every day. This affirmation is necessary in this moment of ongoing police killings of African Americans, violent attacks on those protesting in the streets, and a public health crisis with disproportionate impact on African Americans, Native Americans, the Latinx community, and other marginalized groups. As a Department, we study and teach about these patterns, so we aren’t or shouldn’t be surprised. Yet, these recent events have hit hard even in the context of our long, troubled history and the deep-seated systemic racism of our society.

As a Department, we want to do everything we can to support one another and especially those for whom these events are taking the greatest toll. Set against the vulnerabilities and fears that many are experiencing, we want to continue building a community where everyone feels valued, heard, and supported.

We reiterate our shared values and commitment to advancing inclusion and equity across all racial and ethnic groups as a Department and community. We will continue to work to ensure that we are upholding these values in our department, working with faculty, staff, students and other important partners in the University and profession including the Initiative for Minority Excellence and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion. Our commitment to inclusion and equity is integral to everything we do in our research, teaching, and service. More than ever, it is important for us to hold these values up and continue working toward realizing them in deep and lasting ways.

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