The Department of Philosophy stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and continues to listen carefully to communities of color as they call on us to challenge systemic racism, protest the militarization of U.S. police forces and ensure racial justice.
Like earlier student-led struggles for Black studies and ethnic studies, we acknowledge the key place of the university as a site of struggle for social justice and are committed to addressing the problem of anti-Blackness, white supremacy, and all forms of implicit and explicit racism in our professions, wherever we find it, even if in our own department. More specifically:
- We recognize the classroom as a source of power in the fight against racism and white supremacy. We commit to creating space in our classrooms for students to process acts of social injustice they may experience or witness and to providing them with the tools and vocabulary to do so.
- We recognize curricula as expressions of professional values. We commit to understanding and helping our students to understand how race and racism have shaped and continue to shape our cultural, religious, and philosophical beliefs, practices, and communities. We will work to ensure that our curricula develop this understanding so that all of our students graduate with a transnational and intersectional understanding of race and ethnicity.
- We recognize the importance of integrating the study of race and racialization into our research, scholarship, and creative activities. We commit to supporting and encouraging professional development aimed at doing so.
- We recognize that racism that is subtle, unacknowledged, and even unconscious can be as pernicious as its more candid varieties. We commit ourselves to unmask such forms of racism, including but not limited to unearned privilege and other forms of injustice.
- We recognize that voices of philosophy, humanities, religious studies, and cultural studies are diverse but that the dominant voices of our professions too often continue to cover over various forms of exclusion and marginalization: we will work collectively to do better in our research, teaching, and service work.
- We recognize the importance of ensuring that all of our governing documents, evaluation procedures, and strategic planning are free of racist impact. We commit to actively changing “business as usual” and dismantling structures and current practices found to be unsatisfactory.
- We recognize that recruiting and hiring people from under-represented groups, while important, is not sufficient. Inclusion is just as important as diversity. We commit to amplifying the voices of historically marginalized members of our professions, and to continue working toward making our department a more genuinely inclusive and welcoming place for everyone, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, class, rank, or institutional position.
- We recognize that all the work we do at the University of Central Florida on all of its campuses, including the work of anti-racism, takes place on the traditional territories of the Miccosukee and Seminoles. We commit to acknowledging our location on appropriated land in public representations of our department and public presentations of our work.
This statement reflects and borrows from the statements of the professional organizations to which our faculty jointly belong: The American Academy of Religion (AAR), The American Philosophical Association (APA), the American Studies Association (ASA), the Cognitive Science Society (CSS), and the International Association for Environmental Philosophy (IAEP).