WE CONDEMN RACIST POLICE VIOLENCE
The Departments of Ethnic Studies and Women and Gender Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder condemn the police killing of Mr. George Floyd. This killing adds to a long list of over 1250 folks of African descent killed by police since 2005, not taking into account acts of police brutality resulting in grievous bodily harm and deaths while in police or sheriff's custody.
Mr. Floyd’s public murder adds to a spate of police killings of Black people in the past few months of the COVID 19 pandemic. Breonna Taylor was shot in her own bed at home in Louisville Kentucky. Ahmaud Arbery was hunted and killed while jogging in Georgia. Tony McDade, a Black transgender man, was killed by officers in Florida. These police killings come at a time where the COVID 19 pandemic is causing much higher rates of death in Black, Latinx and tribal communities, especially the Navajo Nation. We urge our campus community to take note of racism as another public health emergency for Black, Latinx, Native and other communities of color. We also urge public attention to how these acts of violence are racialized and gendered, with Black people in every gender group being disproportionately vulnerable to police violence.
As departments whose work is informed by intersectional antiracist, feminist, queer, and transgender scholarship and activism, we condemn the ongoing criminalization of black people and the glorification of police violence against black people. We demand justice for the family of Mr. George Floyd and all families who have lost loved ones to racist police violence. We denounce the ongoing onslaught of violence against peaceful protesters in Colorado and across the United States and the world in the wake of this horrific murder. We call for an end to the increased militarization and funding of police forces and the prison industrial complex, and for states and counties to invest in better schools, job training and empowerment for marginalized communities.
The Department of Women and Gender Studies (WGST) faculty aim to foster students’ critical thinking skills in a learning environment that is supportive and challenging. In the workplace, the media, popular culture, politics, and even academia, we are confronted with stereotypes and one-dimensional representations of gender, race, class, nationality and sexuality. Accordingly, WGST faculty encourage students to critically engage with course materials and with the world around them, and we provide them tools to do so. We believe such skills are the prerequisites for enhancing the equality, dignity, and empowerment that we value.Faculty research is an essential component in the educational experience of our undergraduates. WGST students receive instruction from faculty who are actively engaged in the creation of new knowledge and insights, not merely passive recipients of the work of others. Our faculty have been awarded research grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Institute of Peace.
The Department of Women and Gender Studies welcome you to celebrate our WGST Class of 2020! Visit our Virtual Yearbook page for a special video and website honoring our graduating majors, minors, and certificate students, as well as the recipients of our WGST scholarships and awards.
Established in 1974 as the Women Studies Program, it is also one of the oldest of its kind in the nation.