Black Lives Matter

A Statement of Solidarity from the Department of Sociology

The Department of Sociology at the University of Kansas stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the recent protests over the killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. These murders occurred during a pandemic that has killed over 100,000 Americans, taking a particularly heavy toll on African American, Native American, and Latinx communities, and generating racist attacks on Asian Americans. We acknowledge all of this has happened in the context of historical and entrenched racism; we share the outrage, and we recognize that silence and inaction are unacceptable and unethical.

We denounce enduring inequalities in education, health, employment, and political power that are founded on White privilege and continue to disadvantage Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. As educators, we believe in the transformative power of education and research which can lead to profound social change. As sociologists, we recognize the limits of individualistic approaches to structural inequality. As it relates to police violence, we acknowledge that the problem is not one of a few “bad apples” in municipal policing, but is a structural, systemic, and institutional problem that requires fundamental change. We affirm our support for students, faculty, members of the University of Kansas community, and everyone around the globe whose teaching, research, and activism address these structural issues and share our commitment to be agents of change for racial justice and equality.

A Statement of Solidarity from the Sociology Graduate Student Association

The graduate students of the University of Kansas Sociology Department stand in solidarity with those protesting anti-Black racism across the United States and around the world. We condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black individuals at the hands of a racist police and carceral system. We further condemn the broader systemic racism embedded in our society, and we affirm that Black Lives Matter.

In our scholarship and our classrooms, we seek to illuminate and recognize the structural racism that results in violence and hate against people of color, not just in the criminal justice system but in social institutions ranging from the economy to the healthcare system to higher education itself. We acknowledge that this systemic racism pervades every sphere of life, including our classrooms. We will continue to listen and learn as the struggle for racial justice persists. We wish to express our support for graduate and undergraduate students of color at KU and elsewhere, and we commit to recognize and fight against this racism and all other forms of injustice that manifest in our day-to-day lives as students, teachers, and scholars.