The faculty and staff of the McMaster University Department of English and Cultural Studies are deeply saddened and outraged by the violent deaths of George Floyd, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee and Tony McDade. While we mourn these particular losses, we also recognize that anti-Black violence is not new, but rather, part of the systemic and ongoing oppression of BIPOC people across Turtle Island.
Our colleagues in the African Caribbean Faculty Association of McMaster released an important statement earlier this week: Statement on the killing of George Floyd and Racial Justice Black Lives Matter. We appreciate the invaluable, courageous and crucial work of protestors and organizers in the McMaster community, and across the Black diaspora, some of which we have linked to below. Their work re-emphasizes the ways in which white supremacy is reproduced through both covert and overt forms of violence, including income disparities, displacement and dispossession, racial-hatred, police violence and mass-incarceration.
We recognize that our institution and academia at large are also implicated in historical and ongoing anti-Black racism and settler colonialism. We wish to express our allyship and solidarity with Black students, faculty and staff. However, we understand that solidarity is a continual process of conversation and commitment to active anti-racism efforts. We recognize that we need to rededicate ourselves to this process in our teaching and our scholarship, especially in the midst of a pandemic that disproportionately affects Black and Indigenous people.
We understand that this moment is one of particular sadness, trauma, exhaustion and anger for our Black students, colleagues and community members. Below is a partial list of mental-health and wellness resources as well as information about anti-racist initiatives happening in our community. We stand with students, past and present, as well as staff and faculty who are protesting, advocating, and working towards the dismantling of white supremacy and justice for BIPOC people.
Black Lives Matter.
Directory of Black therapists, social workers, psychiatrists and psychologists in Canada.
Online wellness initiative.
Chicago-based organization that serves Black women and femmes across the diaspora.
Information on the work of a coalition of Black student activists in Hamilton
Gofundme page for Regis Korchinski-Paquet
List of Black-owned businesses in Hamilton
Gofundme page for Chantel Moore
An infographic on further ways to show support for Black Lives Matter
PACBIC invites BIPOC students, faculty, and staff to participate in an upcoming Let’s Talk About Race event on Thursday, June 18th from 11:30am–1:00pm (details to be announced shortly). This event will be hosted by PACBIC’s R3 (Race, Racism and Racialization) working group. The PACBIC statement encourages any McMaster community member in need of support or interested in joining community efforts to address issues of equity, inclusion and anti-racism to contact the PACBIC co-chairs, Dr. Arig Al-Shaibah and Dr. Eugenia Zuroski: email@example.com.
Black Lives Matter Logo by Black Lives Matter Organization.
Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons