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Department of German Studies
Statement on Racism, White Supremacy, and Police Brutality
June 8, 2020

Black lives matter. We, the faculty and staff of the Department of German Studies, are deeply grieved and outraged by the recent racist killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Tony McDade, and many others. We stand in solidarity with those exercising their moral and constitutional right to protest against these injustices. 

We recognize these tragedies as the most recent manifestations of structural and individual racism, white supremacy, and police brutality in the United States. These histories have indelibly shaped the academic institutions of which we are a part. As a department focused on German- and Yiddish-speaking societies, we are committed to teaching, research and outreach that emphasizes the interwoven histories of anti-Black racism, antisemitism, fascism, genocide, colonialism, xenophobia, misogyny, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and economic exploitation. We believe it is our duty to critically examine cultural memories of oppression and resistance, and to explore how they have been forgotten and repressed.

We strongly support the organizations and networks of scholars committed to fostering an inclusive and socially just vision of German Studies, including the Initiative on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion of the German Studies AssociationWomen in German, and Diversity, Decolonization and the German Curriculum, and we are committed to centering the voices of marginalized and underrepresented individuals and communities in our classrooms.

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