Departmental Statement of Solidarity
- Author: Tuesday, June 16th, 2020
In accordance with Western Kentucky University’s dedication to social justice, as outlined recently in We Are One WKU, the Department of Folk Studies and Anthropology stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. We condemn police brutality, racially motivated violence, and the slow violence of systemic racism that have oppressed African Americans and other people of color for centuries. And we condemn the ongoing violent acts of law enforcement and vigilantes towards peaceful protesters seeking justice and reform. We value human life, dignity, and justice. As anthropologists and folklorists, it is our ethical responsibility to both recognize how our disciplines have been complicit in systemic racism and white supremacy, and to actively work to dismantle it.
For those interested in supporting in the current moment and the ongoing struggle for social justice, we offer a list of organizations that are leading the movement and taking immediate action to aid protesters who have been arrested:
Black Lives Matter / blacklivesmatter.com
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People / www.naacp.org
American Civil Liberties Union / www.aclu.org
Southern Poverty Law Center / www.splcenter.org
List of Community Bail Funds / bailfunds.github.io
We also encourage supporters to educate themselves about local, state, and national issues related to social justice; to contact your government representatives and demand action for social justice; and to register to vote by contacting your secretary of state or using voter registration organizations listed at www.headcount.org/organizations.
Finally, as educators, we welcome questions about or requests for recommendations of anti-racist teaching and learning resources, and we will continue to work to foreground such resources in our own work and to share them with the communities we are privileged to serve.