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Statement of Solidarity

On behalf of the Steering Committee of The Ethnic and Gender Studies program

John A. Powell says “The future belongs to those who participate in creating it.” What kind of future will we have? And who gets to decide that future? The events surrounding racial injustice and police brutality these last several weeks are disheartening and angering to those of us on the Ethnic and Gender Studies committee and speak to a long, documented history of racial injustice. What happened to George Floyd and Breonna Taylor has happened before—too many times before. And it’s happened since. It’s likely to continue to happen, unless a critical mass of people starts doing things very differently, and we as the Ethnic and Gender Studies Committee want to be part of that future change.

The Ethnic and Gender Studies program at ESU has been around for 25 years, and in that time, the goal has been to fight for equity for disenfranchised groups, to educate about the issues that disproportionately affect marginalized groups, and to promote a campus of inclusion and diversity. But we want to strive to be more than we have been.

The Ethnic and Gender Studies committee firmly believes in the fair and just treatment of all peoples. We believe that our roles as educators and academics can help spread change through the education of our students and through dialogue on campus among faculty, staff, and students.

We know this statement isn’t enough. We hope it’s a start on amplifying work to effect greater change at ESU and beyond. We commit to offering dynamic and challenging learning opportunities. We commit to listening to marginalized communities about their experiences and how we might support, advocate, and amplify the voices of Black, Indigenous, and people of color. We commit to continuing the anti-racist work long after the headlines die down. We want to be a part of a future that is diverse, inclusive, and liberated.

With Respect and Admiration,

Mallory Koci, Director; Dr. Ellen Hansen; Dr. Alfredo Montalvo; Dr. Heidi Hamilton; Dr. Rebecca Rodriguez Carey; Dr. Juan Chavarria; Dr. Rochelle Rowley; Dr. Marcia Schulmeister; Roberta Eichenberg; Dr. Deborah Hann; Dr. Heather Caswell; Dr. Gregory Robinson