English Department and Racial Justice

ECU English Department Statement on Racial Justice

As part of its contribution to ECU’s mission of student success, public service, and regional transformation, the Department of English denounces the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA, on 2/23/20, of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, on 3/13/20, of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, on 5/25/20, and of Tony McDade in Tallahassee, FL, on 5/27/20. These unconscionable killings and the all too many more like them are products of systemic racism that devalues Black lives. We believe in critical thinking and debate, accessibility, and inclusion, and we condemn violence and hate. We are examining how we–as teachers, scholars, writers, students, members of institutions and communities, and individuals–can be part of making a more just North Carolina and a more just United States. We are living in immensely difficult and stressful times, but for those who bear the scars of systemic racism, getting “back to normal” is not a solution. We believe that the humanities can join with many other disciplines to change our society for the better. To our students: we see you, we see your struggles, and we are here to support and encourage you. We are committed to listening to you and amplifying your voices. As professionals in disciplines attentive to the power of language to help and to hurt, we recognize that a statement like this one can seem painfully inadequate; we consider it only the beginning of the work that we all are doing and will continue to do.