DEIA Statement/Anti-Harassment Statement
Dear English students,
As the Department Chair, I write in support of the UC Cops Off Campus Coalition’s day of statewide action on 10/1. In the wake of organizing for a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), many of our Black, Brown, and Indigenous students have also faced the global health pandemic, ecological crisis, and the continued threat of racialized police violence. We must acknowledge that policing disproportionately violates Black, Brown, Indigenous, queer, trans, and poor peoples and immigrants and ultimately renders all members of the campus and its surrounding communities less safe. I am committed to a public university that advances racial justice by ending such forms of harm, and I support students working towards this vision.
The Department of English will not retaliate against undergraduate or graduate students who join the abolition events happening statewide on 10/1 or beyond for exercising their first amendment rights. Further, the department oppose(s) any threat of retaliation that may come from the administration, and stand beside our students in the struggle for racial justice and a more livable university environment for all.
I am disappointed that the university has not yet taken substantive action to provide alternatives to policing in the face of incontrovertible evidence regarding the racialized harm it perpetuates. I call on the UC Riverside administration to substantively respond to the calls for divestment from police and policing on our campus.
Chair of English
Statement of Solidarity by the English Department
The English department joins in the grief and outrage expressed in this past week’s protests and mourns the deaths of George Floyd in Minnesota, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, Nina Pop in Missouri, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Sean Reed in Indiana, Tony McDade in Florida from police brutality and antiblackness. That outrage is compounded by the crisis of systemic racism in health care, housing, and employment that has led to great disparities in the impact of COVID-19 that heavily impact Black communities.
UC Riverside and the University of California system, build its brand by acknowledging that our university occupies Indigenous land, advertising the diversity of our undergraduates, numbers of first-generation students, the percentage of students who qualify for public grants, and retention rates for Black students. We call on our leadership not to retreat from a direct engagement with the day-to-day realities of Black students, staff, and faculty. This hypocrisy hurts our community and undermines the university’s national reputation as an institution committed to justice.
We stand with the coalition of student organizations that issued a call-to-action to the campus community, and a series of demands to campus leadership. We add our voice to those of our students, in solidarity, to challenge our leadership to offer a meaningful response.