Statements of Solidarity
In Solidarity with Marginalized Communities
The faculty and staff of the Department of English stand in solidarity with marginalized communities, both at Colorado State University and beyond. We are committed to understanding systems of oppression and rooting out the injustices and biases within our Department and the broader community.
Black Lives Matter
The faculty and staff of the Department of English stand with Black and African American students, alumni, colleagues, and staff. We are committed to understanding systemic racism and rooting out the injustices and biases within our Department and the broader community.
We know that individually and collectively, we must address the inequity, violence, and exclusion that disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
We who study language, literature, and writing know that words possess potent force, capable of shaping opinions and beliefs, opening our minds to the realities of others, creating a common ground of empathy and understanding. And we also know the other side of that power: that words can harm, can wound, can betray every ideal we hold dearest. But we also know that words alone will not bring about the changes that are needed.
In our classrooms, we will work to listen to every voice, see every face, honor the histories and identities that students bring with them into the classroom, and learn together as faculty and staff how to honestly create an inclusive environment where marginalized voices can thrive.
We have begun the work of educating ourselves--faculty and staff--through participation in diversity, equity, and inclusion workshops followed by changed classroom practices and curricula. We are examining existing curricula with a critical eye toward improving access, inclusion, and multiple points of view on essential issues. One result is the new English Studies Symposium, designed to look at core cares from multiple perspectives. But we have additional work to do, seeding inside our major equally open, and opening, opportunities. This is not easy work, nor should it be. It will take years, but we’re on the good, difficult path.
We will keep our doors open to mentor, to talk one-on-one, to help all of our students navigate our complex time. Most important, we will learn with our students and peers, and we will learn from them.
Resources at CSU
Educational resources on diversity, equity, and inclusion can be found on the Educate Yourself page from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity. Faculty and staff can access resources from the CLA 2020 Initiative and take advantage of the Open Door Pedagogy network in the Department of English. Incidents of bias and racism should be reported on the Bias Incident Form.
Stop AAPI Hate
The faculty and staff of the Department of English stand with Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Asian international students, alumni, colleagues, and staff. We are committed to naming and countering the systemic white supremacy that fuels anti-Asian hate both in the current climate of the Coronavirus pandemic and in a longer history in the US and particularly in the western states that stretches back to the passage of the Page Act in 1875. As we address these systemic large-scale structures we also charge ourselves to root out injustice and bias within our Department and local community.
As a department that focuses on language and expression we acknowledge and embrace our responsibility to address the way that anti-Asian hate and white supremacist ideologies manifest themselves in discussions about the English language. Asian American authors and critics such as the Korean American poet Cathy Park Hong remind us that educational institutions in the US have a long history of complicity in the denigration of versions of English that arise among immigrant populations. We seek to create a Department of English that recognizes the fluidity of forms of linguistic expression and champions the voices of those who have all too frequently been marginalized, silenced, or made to feel unwelcome.
Most of all, we seek to learn together with our students and our larger community as we address recent events such as the acts of violence that targeted Asian women in Atlanta and Sikh FedEx employees in Indianapolis and contextualize them within a history of anti-Asian violence that has roots in our immediate region, including the Hop Alley race riot of 1880 in Denver and the massacre of Chinese American miners in Rock Springs, Wyoming in 1885. Reckoning with this history requires that we think both globally and locally, attending to structural and institutional white supremacy alongside of specific incidents occurring around us in the moment.
We will work in conjunction with other offices and units on campus to further educate the CSU community on anti-Asian hate, both individual and systemic, and we call for allies to take action by putting anti-racism into practice:
- Interrupt racist behavior in your communities, including jokes, the fetishization of AAPI women, xenophobic and racist language about the COVID-19 pandemic, the perpetuation of the “model minority” myth, and more
- Give to the CSU Asian Pacific American Cultural Center (https://advancing.colostate.edu/APACC)
- Support local Asian-owned businesses, many of whom have seen a decline in business since the start of the pandemic
- Support non-profits like Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and more
- Hold your departments, units, and college leadership accountable to anti-racist policy and actions
- Educate yourself using the regularly updated resources available from the Office of the Vice President for Diversity’s web portal.