We, the Department of Sociology, stand in solidarity with all who are suffering from the ongoing dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racial injustice.
Over the past year we experienced and witnessed police brutality, racist symbols in public protest, and the disproportionate effect of COVID-19 on African-American, as well as, Hispanic and Latino, Indigenous, and Asian-American communities. Although we are hopeful that strides will be made in combating COVID-19, we know that rooting out anti-Black racism and other forms of racial injustice requires ongoing work. In the Department of Sociology, it is our mission to not only create a space where students can safely explore issues of race and social justice, but also understand how history shapes current trends, and support our community in making lasting change towards equity. The events of the past year have inspired us to be self-reflective and examine our own department with the goal of creating space and relationships where students, faculty, and staff of all backgrounds can thrive.
We begin by taking the following steps during the 2020-2021 academic year:
Reviewing departmental procedures and policies to identify race-based barriers or outcomes and find ways to remove them.
Expanding mentoring and networking opportunities for students.
Creating a website with faculty expertise and community work on anti-Black racism and inequality more broadly, as a resource for students and the community seeking experts.
Engaging in professional development and training to address unconscious bias and to facilitate constructive conversations and design strategies that address social injustice.
Working with student organizations to identify additional issues and opportunities and developing partnerships to address them.
This is an ongoing process, and we are committed to center the safety and inclusion of our students in developing improved policies and practices. We welcome input from students, faculty, and staff regarding your experiences and suggestions how we can foster a more equitable, inclusive, and welcoming department. Please reach out to our chair Dr. Fitzgerald (firstname.lastname@example.org), our Sociology Department Diversity Liaison Dr. Kronberg (email@example.com), or any other faculty member you trust with your concerns and suggestions.