The Department of Languages and Culture Studies denounces the recent killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We recognize as well that these now familiar names hide countless others. We condemn unequivocally systemic police violence directed against Black people, and the failure of so many institutions both to prevent it and to hold the perpetrators accountable. We acknowledge as well that for so many of our students right now—especially Black students and students of color—these events are traumatic and painful, especially when coupled with the economic and health crises that disproportionately affect them and their families. To our students, we want you to know we see you, we hear you, and we support you. We affirm that Black lives matter.

As a department whose primary mission is to promote the study of languages, arts, and cultures from around the world, we pride ourselves on our commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. We know, however, that without any kind of real substantive change at a practical and institutional level, such claims are not enough. Therefore, we commit to ongoing conversations with students, faculty, and staff to address the effects of racism and injustice as it pertains to our Department.