We, the faculty of the University of Colorado Boulder political science department, assert that Black lives matter, and we stand against ongoing acts of oppression and violence toward all Black, Indigenous, and other Peoples of Color. We reaffirm our commitment to nondiscrimination under Article 8 of the Regent Laws for the University of Colorado. We also reaffirm our commitment to creating an environment where all individuals treat each other with respect and dignity. Racism cannot be tolerated and it has no place in our communities, classrooms, or campus. We commit to fostering antiracism in our department, and we support the efforts of other organizations at CU who share the same vision.
The department of political science, by existing within the racist power structure in this country, participates in systemic racism. We acknowledge the discrimination and racial tension within our department and the campus of CU Boulder. Acts of racism in the department have gone unreported, as affected individuals have been marginalized from speaking out about their experiences. Systemic racism has also allowed the department to overlook racist incidents and behavior.
Going forward, we commit to a continuous process of self-reflection to identify our biases, both individual and systemic. We also commit to a process of open communication and dialogue to identify how we have harmed BIPOC individuals. We commit ourselves to bringing awareness of the history and challenges of racism to our hiring, teaching, and research practices. Finally, we commit to taking steps in our teaching, our research, and in our roles as members of the university community to address racial injustice.
As political scientists, we have the opportunity to reveal and communicate the systemic and structural injustices that occur in the United States. Black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police officers than White men in the United States. Black people face disadvantages in schooling opportunities, in health outcomes, and in employment. We urge university administrators, local and state governments, and the federal government to enact evidence-based improvements to policing in America, including measures that would reverse the militarization of police forces and hold police offenders more accountable.
Actions We Are Taking to Combat Racism
The following are measures that the department has implemented or is pursuing to combat racism in all its forms.
- We have formed a Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) committee, and we have given it standing committee status within the department.
- We have adopted a commitment by all faculty to include at least one unit per class on anti-racism.
- We have conducted a survey of graduate students to gain more information about their experiences, so as to foster a more inclusive department climate.
- We have made hiring a faculty member in race and ethnic politics our top hiring priority.
- We will increase the number of BIPOC scholars who present their work to the department in the Van Ek speaker series.
- We are working to improve our outreach to underrepresented groups in high schools to provide information about the political science department at CU.
- We have adopted a statement of inclusive excellence as part of the department’s ARPAC review process.