Dear All,

We write, first and foremost, to say that we stand against all forms of systemic racism, white supremacy, and anti-Black violence.

We are outraged by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. This onslaught of anti-black police violence combined with a pandemic that is disproportionately infecting and killing Black and brown people is heartbreaking, infuriating, and demoralizing. Police brutality and the racial disparities in infection and healthcare are only the most (currently) visible manifestations of the deeply rooted structures of racism that pervade our state institutions, our streets, our hospitals, our classrooms, our homes, and our minds. Witnessing militarization and police violence against peaceful protest is dismaying for us all, but disproportionately traumatic for Black people.

We write to stand in solidarity behind, alongside, and in front of our students and colleagues who are fighting every day to survive in and change these structures. We write to publicly commit ourselves to acknowledging and working to better understand the additional fear, grief, and exhaustion our Black students and colleagues experience every day.

We recognize that It is incumbent upon institutions of higher education to teach our community and those in power about how to be actively anti-racist. As educators, we are deeply indebted to the organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement, grassroots advocacy organizations, generations of civil rights activists, and so many of our students, colleagues, and friends who have themselves shouldered the burden of constantly educating others on racial dynamics for which they are often un- or undercompensated. We recognize that creating a just, safe, and inclusive community requires more than putting many voices in the same room. Moving forward, we are committed to doing more and doing better. In the weeks and months to come we will be organizing conversations to discuss what this can look like in practice, and welcome you to share your thoughts with us.

As political scientists, we spend our professional lives studying power: who gets what, when, and how — and who does not. We commit to using our power to disable the levers of oppression. We know that protest is essential to democracy, and we express our unreserved support of the protests fighting for racial justice. If we are going to Fight On, we must fight for the things that matter most.

Black Lives Matter.

In solidarity,

Political Science & International Relations Department Leadership