Religious Studies Statement in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter
June 9, 2020
The Department of Religious Studies grieves over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. We grieve the countless other black and brown victims of racist violence and white supremacy in the United States. In solidarity with the ongoing protests, we will continue to say their names: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Stephon Clark, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Quintonio LeGrier, Laquan McDonald, Tony McDade and many, many more.
We also recognize that saying their names is not enough. We must also oppose systemic racism in all its forms. In addition to our work as individuals, as scholars of religious studies, we join with the Board of the American Academy of Religion in the following commitments:
- “Recognize the classroom as a source of power in the fight against racism and white supremacy. As AAR members we must affirm our strongest values as an association and commit to understanding how race has shaped and continues to shape our religious and social worlds.
- “Integrate the study of race and racialization into our scholarship, our curriculum, and in the training of students of religion.
- “Insist on Black religious studies as integral to the study of American religion and thus essential for the conferral of graduate and undergraduate degrees in American religion.
Finally, we embrace and recommend the resources below:
Resources on allyship and anti-racism from educator DeEtta Jones
Harmeet Kaur’s guide to supporting marginalized communities
How to Be Actively Anti-Racist by our Evanston colleague Cheryl Johnson-Odim
Building Anti-Racist White Educators
Steps white academia and white academics must take
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