Statement on Racial Violence, Institutional Racism, and Police Brutality
Department of Law, Societies, and Justice, June 2020
The Law, Societies, and Justice (LSJ) Department condemns ongoing police brutality and racial violence at the hands of both police and vigilantes, as well as the impunity that perpetrators of such violence enjoy. The utterly unjustifiable killing of George Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed Black man, has served as the catalyst for an outpouring of grief, outrage, and anguish across the country. We urge national, state, and local leadership to honor the rights of all to safely protest and advocate for change, and support our students who are putting their commitment to justice into practice during this difficult time. And we urge our government to adopt policies to ensure that black lives matter, for all lives cannot be said to matter until black lives matter. As social scientists who study and teach about law, rights, and justice, we support efforts to end racial violence, white supremacy, and police brutality.
We know we have work to do, also. The LSJ Department is committed to using our teaching, research, mentoring, and public scholarship to tackle structural racism and institutionalized violence, and to work to build a more just society. These efforts include (but are not limited to):
- Exploring the history of racial and ethnic inequalities, the institutions, laws, and practices that have perpetuated them, and pathways for enhancing racial and social justice.
- Ensuring that our course materials and public presentations feature the insights of individuals from historically marginalized communities as experts on the realities they experience and leaders in crafting solutions.
- Using Department resources and energies to ensure that we are faithful to, and strive to deepen, our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Beyond our classrooms, the LSJ Department is committed to advocating for the inclusion and safety of students of color on campus.