In Support of Black Lives
June 2, 2020
Over the past few days, we have seen massive protests across the country in response to the senseless killing of George Floyd. The uprising also represents a response to systemic racism, police brutality, and the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black lives that have been cut short. Over the past few days, we have also seen violence and chaos stoked by law enforcement, white supremacist groups, and the President himself. We are outraged, angry, and exhausted by the continued attacks on Black and Brown lives. We are horrified too by the attacks against protestors who are seeking justice and journalists who are simply doing their jobs. And it is within this context that we are still experiencing the threat of COVID-19 and its disparate impacts on communities of color.
In this moment, how do we move forward? As a community, we need to come together to publicly support Black staff, students, and faculty, and stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, Black Visions Collective, the Bailout Project, and other organizations dedicated to affirming Black lives and ending white supremacy. We must do the work to examine our own privileges and roles in perpetuating current systems of racial inequality. We must continue to educate ourselves about the long history of race and racism, and how that history shapes contemporary patterns of unequal access to housing, jobs, education, and health care, as well as the differential valuation of white and Black lives. And we must learn how to have productive conversations about race and its social realities.
We also need sustained investments in research on race, racism, and anti-Blackness so that we can develop policies, practices, and structures to upend inequality. We can support and amplify these issues in our research and teaching, and call out racism when it surfaces. It will take all of our collective efforts to acknowledge, address, and dismantle racial inequality and its pervasiveness in our social structures. As a university community, we can use our voices, skills, resources, creativity, and know-how to tackle this enduring problem.
CRRES will continue to support, generate, and amplify research focused on race and ethnicity, and to provide research opportunities for scholars of color. We are working to create additional resources for those who are interested in learning more about the ways in which race and racism are deeply embedded in our histories, institutions, policies, practices, and everyday lives. We welcome collaborative efforts and input on advancing research to reduce racial inequalities and create new programming that uplifts our communities. Finally, we call on our CRRES and IU communities to act – to listen, learn, speak up, donate, advocate, and show up for one another – until we see change.
Director of the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society
Class of 1948 Herman B Wells Professor of Sociology