Along with so many others in our community, we breathed a sigh of relief for a moment this week as we heard that the police officer who murdered George Floyd had been convicted. However, even as the verdict was coming in, yet another Black American was being killed by a police officer, this time 16-year old Ma’Khia Bryant. We have so much work left to do.
We join others in and beyond the UMBC community in working to find ways to end police violence and the systems of racism and white supremacy that enable it. We work towards this in our teaching and our scholarship. We also work towards this as members of our local, state, and national political systems, and encourage others to do the same. We are proud to be part of a state whose General Assembly passed sweeping police reforms into law earlier this month, making it one of the first law making bodies to do so (https://www.npr.org/2021/04/10/986159466/maryland-lawmakers-override-vetoes-on-sweeping-police-reform). And we call attention to reform at the national level, including legislation such as the “George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020” that was passed by the United States House and currently awaits Senate consideration (https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/7120).
It is up to each of us to call our representatives’ attention to the actions we want them to take on our behalf.
We know we are not alone in this, and that sustains us all. In the last few days, we have read the many thoughtful and moving statements from others in our community, and we urge others to do the same. There is much to do, and we are grateful to be doing it together.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health
STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY
The members of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health at UMBC stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students, co-workers and colleagues in the wake of the tragedies and violence occurring across the United States. We echo the sentiments expressed by the UMBC administration last week, and grieve the lives that have been lost and minimized by structural racism and white supremacy.
We are ever committed to working toward dismantling systems of inequality, finding new ways to support one another, and helping create the kind of change we want to see. We pledge to continue in our efforts of compassionate and critical pedagogy (c.f. Freire 1970) and in our research as we engage with partners in marginalized communities here and around the world. We commit ourselves to working with students, colleagues, and community members to apply social science methods and results to address these pressing social problems.
UMBC’s Asian and Asian American Faculty & Staff Council have prepared a list of resources and action items against anti-Asian racism. In addition, our own graduate student Keller Trotman (SOCY MA) is working on their master’s thesis addressing the under explored area of anti-Asian racism in the wake of the COVID:
“Given the current social landscape, it is crucial to study and understand how the rise of anti-Asian racism in conjunction with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of Asian Americans, specifically East and Southeast Asian Americans as these groups are often met with intense derision within the U.S. It is anticipated that by giving voice to those affected by racism and xenophobia, we might not only make their plight better understood, but also pave the way towards a more just society through understanding and empathy.” (Keller Trotman)
We stand together in this fight against injustice.
Aubrey Jackson Soller
To see what others in our UMBC community are saying about this, see UMBC’s Women’s Center (https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/womenscenter/posts/100205) and UMBC’s Statement on Injustice (https://my3.my.umbc.edu/groups/insights/posts/100046), which include links to resources on and off campus.
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health’s statement on diversity and social justice:
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Public Health is home to undergraduate programs in Sociology (SOCY), Anthropology (ANTH) and Health Administration and Policy (HAPP). We offer minors in Sociology, Anthropology, and Health Administration and Policy, a Master’s in Applied Sociology, as well as Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in the Nonprofit Sector, and Social Dimensions of Health. An Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s is available, as well as special options for double majors in Sociology and Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, and Health Administration and Policy and Social Work. The department collaborates with three outstanding Ph.D. programs, including Gerontology (GERO), Public Policy (PUBL) and Language, Literacy & Culture (LLC) and hosts the Center for Aging Studies (CAS), a research center that conducts large scale, federally-funded research.
Throughout these programs, the department emphasizes three core areas: health & aging in society; diversity, gender & culture; and applied social science research. Consistent with UMBC’s goals, the department focuses its core strengths to:
- Provide a distinctive undergrad experience
- Support the development of graduate education
- Conduct faculty research that contributes to both undergraduate & graduate education
Feel free to read more about us, our programs, faculty, staff & students around the site, or contact our main office at 410-455-3979 for more information.