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WGS Center for Social Justice Commitment
to Anti-Racist Action

Click here for a list of Anti-racism Resources. This list has been compiled by the Social Justice Committee and will be updated regularly.

June 19, 2020

On May 25, 2020, an African American man, George Floyd, was murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis, MN, sparking worldwide protests. The murder is another in a long list of deaths due to state sanctioned racial violence committed by white people against African Americans and other minoritized people in the United States. Among countless other Black people who have lost their lives because of anti-black violence, police brutality and white supremacy are Breonna TaylorTony McDadeAhmaud Arbery and, in our own state, Terence Crutcher. The inadequacy of the U.S. criminal justice system in responding to the murder of these Black people demonstrates the structural nature of racism and the rootedness of white supremacist ideology in our nation’s political, cultural, social and educational institutions. 

The WGS Center for Social Justice, whose work is coordinated by faculty and staff members of the Social Justice Committee, denounces racial violence and systemic oppression as we grieve the death of George Floyd and so many others. Our mission is to pursue justice, equality, and rights; provide a platform for advocacy and awareness; and create opportunities for positive change. Toward that end, in this tumultuous moment and onward, we stand in solidarity with families who have lost loved ones to extra-judicial murder, with protesters and journalists who risk physical violence and arrest to bear witness and stand for change, and with students, faculty and staff-- especially students, faculty and staff of color--who shoulder the weight of this moment (and the legacy it carries) in myriad ways. 

We firmly believe that it is not enough to collectively mourn and stand in solidarity. Action is needed. WGS and the Center for Social Justice will continue justice-oriented programs including the Activist in Residence Program and the Teach OUt on Race. Please visit our website for resources, ways to become involved, and events/programs we are planning for the coming year.

We are making plans for a “common read” and discussion with reading selections focused on anti-racist work. Our goal is to create a brave space for white people to be accountable for complicity in the systems and structures that uphold racism and racial violence by engaging in the study, conversation, self-reflection and action necessary for personal and structural transformation. Although the knowledge, expertise and experiences of Black people and other people of color are vital to this work, we acknowledge that people of color should not have to take on the labor of educating and supporting the anti-racist efforts of white people.

We will continue to advocate for the safety and security of Black faculty, staff, and students to all levels of the university.