Faculty Statement on Systemic Racism and Injustice

Davidson Trust Sculpture on Campus

A majority of faculty members of Davidson College issue the following statement in response to systemic racism and injustice.

Outraged by the killings of Black and Indigenous people and People of Color (BIPOC) at the hands of police and vigilantes and by the lack of accountability and justice that these killings highlight;

Mindful of the ways the criminal justice system systematically devalues, dehumanizes, and disposes of BIPOC lives, particularly BIPOC who identify as transgender, BIPOC with disabilities, and Black and Brown non-citizens;

Disgusted by the gratuitous violence against demonstrators in recent weeks;

But hopeful in the face of the unprecedented massive engagement of people of all walks of life against systemic injustices and police brutality,

We, the undersigned faculty members of Davidson College, issue the following statement:

  1. We stand in complete solidarity with our students, colleagues, and other Davidson community members of color who face a litany of historic systemic injustices and the heinous escalation of violence in the last two weeks;
  2. We firmly support the legitimacy and historic importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and pledge to uphold and to act in accordance with its principles of justice for BIPOC in our professional and personal lives;
  3. We recognize the right of all those on U.S. soil to protest and to engage in various acts of civil disobedience against systemic injustices and police brutality without fear of violent retaliation by local, state, or federal authorities;
  4. We therefore strongly support and pledge to join or initiate various forms of action to aid the BLM movement in its goals for an immediate end to systemic racism upheld by racist and discriminatory laws, systems, institutions, and practices, and manifested as racist discrimination and violence by public servants in the United States;
  5. We affirm that the dignity and integrity of human life are inviolable, and that their safety and preservation are always and invariably more important than the safety or preservation of any form or amount of goods or property;
  6. We absolutely and unequivocally condemn the violent response by local and state police, by the National Guard, and by any armed forces mobilized thus far or in the future to suppress a legitimate movement of their fellow citizens;
  7. We abhor and condemn as unjust, unjustified, and unwarranted the use of batons, tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, police dogs, bullets and projectiles of any form, or any other weapons used indiscriminately and with impunity against unarmed or nonviolent  protesters;
  8. We denounce as dangerous, indefensible, and illegitimate any words or actions coming from our elected or appointed officials and public servants, from political organizations, and from non-governmental organizations that — intentionally or unintentionally — foment racial, class, political, religious, generational, or regional discord, as well as their calls to suppress protests through violent retaliation under the guise of protecting property;
  9. We ask that Davidson College require and implement intensive and ongoing anti-racism training for all students, faculty, staff, and campus police after input from and consultation with BIPOC and diversity leaders on campus;
  10. We ask that Davidson College investigate all accounts of racial profiling by Davidson College Campus Police, and that it take immediate and appropriate action to discipline those found responsible for racial profiling;
  11. We recognize that the Davidson BIPOC community has long raised their voices in denouncing racism. We, the undersigned faculty, pledge to amplify their calls, and demand that the administration no longer make rhetorical gestures of inclusion, but rather take action on transforming the institution toward its stated values;
  12. We also recognize that the onus for educating White people about the effects of racialization and racism on the lives of BIPOC does not fall on BIPOC, but on those who benefit from the privileges that whiteness confers;
  13. We further recognize that as faculty whose primary role is to educate, it falls on us as a collective to name injustice when we see it, to amplify the voices of those who are not being heard, to reflect critically on our own privileges and positions of power, and to engage with the academic and activist work of social justice and anti-racism;
  14. We therefore pledge ourselves as faculty to learn and practice inclusive pedagogy, design inclusive syllabi, and ensure that our pedagogical and research agendas actively consider justice and fairness wherever applicable, and actively expose and resist white supremacy, racism and antisemitism, as well as prejudice and exclusion on the basis of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion or belief, political affiliation, ableism, or citizenship or documentation status;
  15. We, the undersigned faculty, commit to continuing the ongoing work at Davidson College, call on others to do the same, and urge for increased participation and greater accountability. Racism and other forms of discrimination — including xenophobia, anti-Black racism, antisemitism, homophobia, sexism, and ableism — have informed in overt and subtle ways where the college is today, and continue to inform how far it has come and how far it has to go in bringing about reconciliation, healing, and a just community. Ongoing work by students, faculty, and staff that addresses the history and consequences of discrimination includes, but is not limited to The Commission on Race and Slavery, FIRST, The Davidson Microaggressions Project, Disorienting Davidson, The JEC Requirement, the Faculty of Color Caucus, the E.H. Little Library’s Anti-Racism Resource Guide, Justice, Equality, and Community Archives, and community-based projects, programs and scholarship in partnership with our communities;
  16. We call on our extensive network of Davidson College alumni to support those who are fighting for liberation through financial and material assistance, political action, refusal to uphold racist laws or to carry out racist or violent orders, and, most importantly, by joining in protest and by unrelentingly acting to expose and condemn racism in their lives and in respective communities;
  17. Confident that this statement is in agreement with the Davidson College Statement of Purpose, with its Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion, and with its principles of community, we respectfully call on the Davidson College administration and its Board of Trustees to join us in this collective statement and the actions called for herein;
  18. We request that this statement be posted prominently and in its entirety on the homepage of the Davidson College website, that it be posted and linked to permanently on all its social media accounts, and that it be emailed to students, staff, faculty, alumni, and to any other networks affiliated with Davidson College.

With an honest acknowledgment that what we are saying here means nothing if actions do not follow, and that if the actions that BIPOC are already always taking are not supported or, at the very least, amplified, we have failed or will have continued to fail;

With the knowledge that true, honest, genuine, helpful support for anti-racist work requires risk-taking, deep self-reflection, and the de-centering of whiteness (which for those of us who are White means de-centering ourselves and listening);

With the promise that what we say here and what we are signing our names to does not only live in this document and is not just a performative act of allyship;

In solidarity,

  • Daniel W. Aldridge, III, Professor of History
  • Mitch Anstey, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Ike Bailey, Batten Professor of Journalism and Communication
  • Mark Barsoum, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Math and Science Center
  • Rachid El Bejjani, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Mario Belloni, Professor of Physics
  • Jonathan Berkey, Professor of History
  • Karen Bernd, Professor of Biology
  • Katherine Bersch, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Florin Beschea, Visiting Professor of French & Francophone Studies, Director of the Self-Instructional Languages Program
  • Aarushi Bhandari, Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Jason Blum, Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing
  • Alison Bory, Associate Professor of Dance and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Maurya Boyd, Visiting Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Dan Boye, Professor of Physics
  • Patricio Boyer, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Latin American Studies and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Anika Bratt, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
  • Graham Bullock, Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies
  • Sally Lawrence Bullock, Visiting Assistant Professor of Health and Human Values
  • Malcolm Campbell, Herman Brown Professor of Biology
  • Shireen Campbell, Professor of English and Director of the Writing Center
  • Besir Ceka, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Dasha A. Chapman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance
  • Tim Chartier, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Keyne Cheshire, Professor of Classics
  • Kata Chillag, Hamilton McKay Professor in Biosciences and Human Health, Health and Human Values
  • Suzanne W. Churchill, Professor of English
  • Luther Clement-Lam, Visiting Assistant Professor of Film
  • Angela Cools, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Ann Marie Costa, Samuel E. and Mary W. Thatcher Professor of Theatre
  • Melody Crowder-Meyer, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Britta Crandall, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Jacquelyn Culpepper, Artist Associate of Voice, Music
  • Scott Denham, Charles A. Dana Professor of German Studies and E. Craig Wall, Jr., Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Humanities
  • Joelle Dietrick, Assistant Professor of Art and Digital Studies
  • Vivien Dietz, Professor of History
  • Brian A. Eiler, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Rosalba Esparragoza, Visiting Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
  • Amanda Ewington, Professor of Russian Studies
  • Maria Fackler, Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Rebeca Fernandez, Associate Professor of Writing and Educational Studies
  • Brenda Flanagan, Edward Armfield Professor of English
  • Emily Frazier-Rath, Visiting Assistant Professor of German Studies
  • William Fried, Artist Associate in Piano, Music
  • Lisa Forrest, The Leland M. Park Director of the Davidson College Library
  • Jennifer Garcia Peacock, James B. Duke Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
  • Tim Gfroerer, Professor of Physics
  • Jessica Good, Associate Professor of Psychology and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Melissa M. González, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies, Latin American Studies, and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Annelise H. Gorensek-Benitez, Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Sharon L. Green, Professor of Theatre
  • Meghan Griffith, Professor of Philosophy
  • Shyam Gouri Suresh, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Michael Guasco, Professor of History
  • Karen Hales, Professor of Biology
  • Takiyah Harper-Shipman, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
  • Cindy Hauser, Professor of Chemistry
  • Karli Henderson, Producer/Lecturer, Theatre
  • Burkhard Henke, Professor of German Studies
  • Laurie Heyer, John T. Kimbrough Professor of Mathematics
  • Van E. Hillard, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing
  • Sandrine Hope, Visiting Assistant Professor of French & Francophone Studies
  • Katie Horowitz, Assistant Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Writing
  • Randy Ingram, Professor of English
  • Marija Jankovic, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • Abril Jimenez, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Brad Johnson, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies
  • Steve Kaliski, Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre
  • Gayle Kaufman, Nancy and Erwin Maddrey Professor of Sociology and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Tara Villa Keith, Associate Professor of Music
  • Hanna Key, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
  • Kyra A. Kietrys, Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Jae Kim, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology
  • Peter Krentz, Professor of Classics and History
  • Carole Kruger, Professor of French & Francophone Studies
  • Anthony Kuchera, Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Michelle Kuchera, Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Zoran Kuzmanovich, Professor of English
  • Rosaline Kyo, Assistant Professor of Art History and Chinese Studies
  • Maxime Lamoureux-St-Hilaire, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
  • Cynthia Lawing, Artist Associate, Music
  • William Lawing, Estes Millner Professor of Music
  • Daniel Layman, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • Neil Lerner, Professor of Music
  • Cynthia Lewis, Charles A. Dana Professor of English
  • Barbara Lom, Virginia Lasater Irvin Professor of Biology
  • William Mahony, Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies
  • Magdalena Maiz-Peña, William H. Williamson Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Naila Mamoon, Assistant Professor of Health and Human Values, Director of Premedicine and Allied Health Professions Programs
  • Jane Mangan, Mary Reynolds Babcock Professor of History and Latin American Studies and Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Christopher R. Marsicano, Visiting Assistant Professor of Educational Studies
  • Gerardo Martí, Professor of Sociology
  • David Martin, Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies
  • Maggie McCarthy, Professor of German Studies
  • Sean McKeever, Professor of Philosophy
  • Linda McNally, Lecturer, Department of Biology
  • Ilana McQuinn, Visiting Assistant Professor of History
  • Hammurabi Mendes, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Annie Merrill, Thomson Professor of Environmental Studies and Professor of English
  • Donna Molinek, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Dáša Pejchar Mortensen, Assistant Professor of History
  • Kristi S. Multhaup, Vail Professor of Psychology
  • Owen Mundy, Associate Professor of the Practice of Digital Studies
  • Greta Munger, Professor of Psychology
  • Jeffrey K. Myers, Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Jeanne M. Neumann, Professor of Classics
  • Tamara Neuman, Visiting Assistant Professor of Jewish Studies and Anthropology
  • Andrew O’Geen, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Siobhan M. O’Keefe, Assistant Professor of Economics
  • Douglas F. Ottati, Craig Family Distinguished Professor of Reformed Theology and Justice
  • Rachel Pang, Associate Professor of Religious Studies
  • Christopher J. Paradise, Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
  • Alan Michael Parker, Douglas Houchens Professor of English
  • Tony Pasero-O’Malley, Visiting Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Tabitha C. Peck, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Luis H. Peña, Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Peter H. Penar, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Sokrat Postoli, Assistant Professor of French & Francophone Studies
  • Jonad Pulaj, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Megan Race, Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian Studies
  • Julio J. Ramirez, R. Stuart Dickson Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
  • Shelley Rigger, Professor of Political Science
  • Andrew Rippeon, Visiting Assistant Professor, Writing Program
  • Susan Roberts, Professor of Political Science
  • Clark G. Ross, Frontis Johnston Professor of Economics and Dean of Faculty, Emeritus
  • Phia S. Salter, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Mark Sample, Associate Professor of Digital Studies
  • Matt Samson, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Latin American Studies
  • Samuel Sánchez y Sánchez, Professor of Hispanic Studies
  • Lola Santamaría, Visiting Instructor of Hispanic Studies
  • Sophia Dorcheva Sarafova, Associate Professor of Biology, Director of Duke-Davidson Immunology Partnership
  • Cort Savage, Professor of Art
  • Karl T. Schmidt, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology
  • Nina E. Serebrennikov, Professor of Art History
  • Jessica Sharp, Postdoctoral Fellow in Psychology
  • Ché L. Smith, Visiting Assistant Professor of Data Science
  • Kevin G. Smith, Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies
  • Shaw Smith, Professor of Art History
  • H. Gregory Snyder, Professor of Religious Studies
  • Nicole L. Snyder, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Assistant Dean for Research and Creative Works
  • Laura Sockol, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Tyler Starr, Associate Professor of Art
  • Jennifer Stasack, Professor of Music
  • Rose Stremlau, Associate Professor of History
  • Caleb Stroup, Associate Professor of Economics
  • Chuck Sturtevant, Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies
  • Lauren Stutts, Assistant Professor of Health and Human Values
  • Mark Sutch, Associate Professor of Theatre
  • Sherilyn Tamagawa, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Yurika Tamura, Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Bryan Thurtle-Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Debbie Thurtle-Schmidt, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Patricia Tilburg, James B. Duke Professor of History and Gender & Sexuality Studies
  • Silvana Toska, Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Michael Toumazou, Professor of Classics, Affiliated Professor of Art
  • Anita Tripathi, Assistant Professor of Design and Technology
  • Anne Truetzel, Instructor of Classics
  • Onita Vaz, Associate Professor of English
  • Susana Wadgymar, Assistant Professor of Biology
  • Sarah Waheed, Assistant Professor of History
  • David R. Wessner, Professor of Biology
  • Monica White, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Alexander Wiedemann, Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Bryce Wiedenbeck, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Alice Wiemers, Assistant Professor of History
  • Angie Willis, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Latin American Studies
  • Anne Blue Wills, Professor of Religious Studies
  • Carl Yerger, Associate Professor of Mathematics
  • Joshua C. Yesnowitz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science
  • Yan Zhuang, Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
  • Jane Zimmerman, John and Ruth McGee Director, Dean Rusk International Studies Program
  • And two faculty members who wished to remain Anonymous.

 

Published

  • June 10, 2020

Category

  • News Headlines