The statement below, written collaboratively among the continuing/incoming department leadership, protests the killing of Black people by police and commits the department to principles of anti-racism at a time when faculty, staff, and students of color deserve reassurance that these are, indeed, our principles. It has not, however, been ratified by the whole faculty, primarily because it would be difficult to assemble everyone during the summer. We have written and distributed the statement without such a meeting because in times like these, slow statements prolong silence on matters that require quick and firm response.
Statements of principle cannot substitute for action. At the beginning of the Fall term, the English faculty will meet to consider and, I hope, to ratify the Statement on Diversity and Inclusion approved unanimously by the Advisory Committee this Spring. That statement constitutes a committee that will devise a plan of action that will satisfy both our statement of anti-racist solidarity and the Diversity and Inclusion statement. In the Fall term, we’ll consider what the committee proposes and begin to improve the departmental environment for marginalized groups and individuals more or less immediately.
I have always thought that all college and university mottoes should be Veritas et justicia. We’re going to confront some truths and act with justice on these issues, because we must, because we know it’s right, because there’s nothing more important for us to do.