PLU Global Studies Statement Against Racism

We, the Faculty Committee of the Global Studies Program at Pacific Lutheran University, stand in solidarity with those protesting racism, white supremacy, and state violence across the world. These events demonstrate local-global connections, which we continually strive to emphasize within the Global Studies curriculum. Locally, police killed Manuel Ellis here in Tacoma. Beyond Washington State, the police killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, and the ambush of Ahmaud Arbery in Satilla Shores, Georgia, are recent examples of a long history of anti-Black violence in the United States. Globally, we are witnessing international solidarity with Black Lives Matter as well as movements addressing various expressions of racism that have shaped the modern world system, including slavery and colonialism. The fact that current protests are taking place in the midst of a pandemic demonstrates their urgency; COVID-19 has further called attention to the racism that pervades all types of systems, including labor hierarchies, health care, and education.

We know that our students and community are impacted, and that we have a role to play in addressing injustice. As Global Studies faculty, we teach the historical origins of global issues and to continue to imagine, in collaboration with our students, possible solutions. We know that we also have work to do, including continuing to acknowledge the often-racist history of many disciplines and working to constantly improve inclusivity. We affirm our responsibilities to our students to recognize, call out, contextualize, and historicize acts of racism and other injustice, and to work to realize change.