CIGS Statement on Black Lives Matter

CIGS members want to express our solidarity with all those involved in, or affected by, recent Black Lives Matter protests following the killing by police of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Tony McDade in the USA. We know that these events have been deeply traumatic for all those committed to resisting anti-Black violence, and especially for Black students, colleagues and friends who are taking on the exhausting and dangerous work of protesting while simultaneously being the targets of ongoing discrimination and violence. We also want to acknowledge the many Black men and women who have endured systemic violence and discrimination in our streets, workplaces and education, welfare, criminal justice, immigration and healthcare systems. These problems are not simply ‘out there’ but instead remain deeply entrenched within the academy and HE sector, and we stand with all those demanding change, both within and beyond the academy.

We do not believe that expressions of solidarity are a sufficient response to this pivotal moment, and are making the following commitments, with the recognition that the burden of this work must not fall to Black colleagues or students:

1. To support the work of decolonising the university by conducting a sustained review and revision of the work of CIGS over the next academic year, including the teaching curriculum and resources, events and activities and membership, in order to challenge our assumptions, broaden our intellectual vision and amplify the voices of Black women scholars, activists and artists.
2. To collate and share resources on the CIGS website, including reading lists, donation sites, petitions and campaign materials.
3. To support campaigns within the university to address the attainment, recruitment and pay gaps experienced by Black students and staff.

We know that these are small steps, but we remain committed to the collective effort of making CIGS an inclusive, diverse and explicitly anti-racist home for Gender Studies scholarship.

* * * * *

In advance of a more comprehensive resources page, you can find links to support the Black community here:

The Black University: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-free-black-university

The Racial Justice Network: https://racialjusticenetwork.co.uk/

The Ivory Tower Project: https://blackbritishacademics.co.uk/ivory-tower-project/

#sayhername campaign: https://aapf.org/sayhernamereport/