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English Department Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

English Department Statement on Diversity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism

In their recent public statement on dismantling systemic racism, our Africana Studies colleagues suggest that to be an ally to black people we "speak up and speak out." We add our voice to the university-wide endorsement of their statement, and we pledge a commitment to action by developing our expertise in inclusive pedagogies and by offering courses and department events that think about race and the ways white privilege produces, reproduces, and sustains systemic inequalities.

We are committed in our work as teachers, scholars, and writers to value the individual differences of every student. Through the study of literature and the craft of writing, we intentionally engage with diversity in our classrooms. We welcome and respect students’ cultural, political, and religious identities and the differences among students in ability, age, ethnicity, gender identity, language, nationality, neuro-identity, race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic background. Together we work with students to increase awareness, sophistication, and understanding of the complex ways that individuals communicate and interact with one another.