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Statement from the Department of Government at William & Mary on racism and recent events

June 17, 2020

The faculty and staff in the Department of Government at William & Mary reaffirm that we stand:

  • for dismantling racist structures, systems of white supremacy, and institutions that perpetuate violence against Black people and that perpetuate inequality;
  • for challenging individual acts of anti-Black racism and white supremacy that foment violence against Black people and perpetuate inequality;
  • for supporting the constitutional rights of free speech, association, and peaceful protest and enjoyment of these rights free from government-sanctioned force or intimidation. 

Faculty and staff in Government further recognize that we work in a university and a system of higher education that perpetuate anti-Black racism.  Our faculty, staff, and students have participated in those systems and many of us have benefited from them in countless ways seen and unseen. 

Much, much work remains to transform our own department and William & Mary into institutions that truly embrace the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion and extinguish racist practices that harm all Black, Indigenous, People of Color.  We vow to develop and monitor new specific plans of action and to better realize these values in all that we do, including but not limited to our design and teaching of courses, hosting of events, recruitment and mentoring of new faculty into our ranks, supporting our current students, recruiting new students into our major, and continuing to be resources for our students after they graduate. 

As Government faculty and staff dedicate ourselves to dismantling white supremacy while prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our teaching, research, service, and hiring, we invite all members of Government, including students and alumni, and also colleagues across William & Mary and beyond the university to hold us accountable when we fall short of meeting our goals.  We recognize that the work is ours to do, yet because none of us have all the answers we are committed to collaborative approaches that can advance substantive change and transformation.