Statement on Racial Violence and Department Commitments

The Department of Anthropology condemns anti-Black violence in the United States and globally. We mourn the racist murders by police of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many, many more people of African descent. We acknowledge that such incidents are pervasive and historically rooted in systemic racism and that they demand deep institutional change and mobilizations for justice. We affirm the values of #BlackLivesMatter and denounce racist state violence and anti-Blackness in all its forms.

The Department of Anthropology supports the statement issued by the Association of Black Anthropologists. We pledge to examine critically our own practices of governance, teaching, research, and public service and to do our best to address inequities in representation and opportunities. We are mindful of how institutions and disciplines, including anthropology, can produce sociopolitical hierarchies and disparities. We pledge to foster anti-racist program initiatives and to involve more non-white and non-U.S. scholars in our speaker series as well as in our curriculum. We acknowledge that these avowals are just a beginning as we work with other programs at Rutgers University and beyond to address long-standing racial injustice. As anthropologists, we particularly recognize the potential of ethnography to help expose injustice, dislodge ethnocentrism, and envision a world beyond white supremacy.