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Statement of Solidarity 

This is a time of sorrow, of anger, of introspection, of discomfort, of activism.  As we confront anti-black racism in the wake of the killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, Women and Gender Studies reaffirms our collective mission to understand and address social inequities. We mourn and march and commit to the work of social justice collectively. We are not all experiencing this the same way. For some of us racism is a daily and familiar experience while others of us must interrogate our own racism and complicity in oppression.  Women and Gender Studies has been articulating these concerns through academics, advocacy, and support, and we have more work to do. Black women have fundamentally shaped gender activism and critique from the very beginning of modern feminism.  Sojourner Truth, Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, Anna Julia Cooper, Audre Lorde, Bernice Johnson Reagon, bell hooks, Barbara Smith, Ntozake Shange, Anita Hill, Patricia Hill-Collins, Cheryl Dunye, Dorothy Roberts, Janet Mock, Sybrina Fulton, and many others have challenged those practices that, to quote Kimberlé Crenshaw, “relegate the identity of women of color to a location that resists telling.”  Critical tools like intersectionality were developed to name blindness and oppression within the most visible articulations of feminism and women’s studies and they remain powerful because that critique is still necessary. Through introspection and advocacy we will work for institutional change here and in the world. The university is one place where we can make this change as we hire faculty, develop curricula, and reform academic and institutional policies. We who are faculty and staff prepare our students to make changes in those institutions that they will shape outside the university, and we must listen when they in turn hold us accountable and make us better.

 

 

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Do you have a question about Women and Gender Studies at George Mason University?

For the quickest response, send us an email to wmst@gmu.edu

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RSS Smith and Hattery

  • LIVE WEBINAR – Policing Black Bodies: How Black Lives are Surveilled & How to Work for Change
    Featuring Drs. Angela Hattery and Earl Smith; Moderated by Robert Patillo. The events unfolding across our nation today renew a long-standing call for fundamentalchanges to our nation’s institutions. While today’s cries carry the echoes fromthe protests following the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray, and so manyother Black people killed by the police, and the […]
  • A RANT ON THE HIGHJACKING AND MISINFORMATION OF JUNETEENTH
    Earl Smith, PhD — Angela J. Hattery, PhD The Emancipation Proclamation of September 22, 1862 became official January 1, 1863 thus ending chattel slavery. Slave owners could have cared less. Many moved to Texas to avoid the freedom extended to Black chattel slaves. Juneteenth takes place on the 19th day of June in 1865. The […]
  • Breonna Taylor: A letter from a mother to her daughter….
    Dear Breonna: I am not your mother and I never can be nor would I presume to be. But, I am a mother of a daughter, her name is Emma. You and Emma were born just 36 days apart. Emma was born on April 30, 1993 and you were born just 7 weeks later on […]
  • Black Lives Matter and #MeToo
    Michael Steele, former chair of the RNC, said the other day that the arrest of the Black-Hispanic CNN reporter while he did his job covering the protests in Minneapolis was an example of what it’s like to be a Black man in the United States. If you’re a Black man, it doesn’t matter how you […]
  • BLACK LIVES DON’T ACTUALLY MATTER
    Earl Smith, PhD — Angela J. Hattery, PhD For the past week or so many, many individuals, news people, corporations have been saying–from their various platforms–that Black Lives Matter. We disagree. If Black lives mattered, Black people would not lag behind every race/ethnic group and definitely whites on every single measure of well-being from homeownership […]