Statements of Support
Heart, Mind & Hands of an Ally
A heart to have empathy for the oppressed
A mind to speak out against injustice
Hands to make change
Dear Hood Community,
Many of us have been closely following the trial in Minneapolis. The trial has created anxiety in the Hood community and our nation. My hope is that this verdict can provide Mr. Floyd’s family and friends and all of us some small measure of peace and closure.
Both before and since Mr. Floyd’s death, we continue to witness too many lives lost to these random acts of violence and racism. It has been an emotionally difficult time for the nation, our campus and especially for the Black and Asian community members.
Do not let Mr. Floyd’s death be in vain. Let his and others’ senseless and violent deaths remind us of the value of every human life and to help us move forward together to call out and end racial injustice and violence.
For anyone needing support during this time, there are resources available for you:
- Health and Counseling Center
- Rev. Beth O’Malley
- Dean Ron Wiafe
Dean Wiafe and Rev. O’Malley will also hold open sessions (virtual and in-person) tomorrow evening for faculty, staff and students who want to be together in community. More details will be sent tomorrow.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
March 23, 2021
Dear Hood Community,
Even once is too often that we are called to speak against a senseless and violent act of hate against another due to the color of one’s skin. I join the community and those everywhere mourning the latest victims of hate in the Atlanta shootings.
My heart goes out to our students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni of color, especially those in the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, who are once again reminded of the inequities and violence they face. I see you. I support you. I stand beside you.
The Asian American Center of Frederick will be holding a candlelight vigil tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at the Frederick Town Mall parking lot (1301 W. Patrick St.); the event will also be live-streamed on the AACF Facebook page. Strict social distancing and mask protocols will be followed.
If you or someone you know experiences racism, harassment or targeted violence of any kind at Hood, please file a report. We have an obligation to stand up against racism, to condemn it and to support those at whom the violence is directed. We also have an obligation to show kindness and respect. Now, more than ever, we need to live our core values.
If you or someone you know is in need of support, there are a number of resources listed below.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
- For Hood Students: Hood College Health and Counseling Services, Frederick Health's Toll House Site and/or Active Minds
- For Hood employees: BHS Employee Assistance Program
- Racial Trauma Support
- NAMI (National Alliance Mental Health)
- SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Advanced Behavioral Health
- Thriving Campus
Dear graduate students and friends,
I am writing to let all of our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander graduate students know that they are supported by Hood College. In the wake of senseless acts of violence in Georgia last week, your faculty and staff at The Graduate School are grieving these murders like many of you. While racially motivated violence against the AAPI community is not new, we are deeply disturbed by the pattern of anti-Asian xenophobia and racism that has escalated over the course of the past year, which has disproportionately affected women of Asian descent.
I would like to extend my support and deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the victims and also to voice support and solidarity to the members of our community that have been affected by this tragedy. The events of the last year have made clear that we all must reckon with the effects of white supremacy and racism. It is imperative that we all take action to ensure that our larger world is a place where everyone feels safe, welcomed, and celebrated.
As you heard from President Chapdelaine today, racist values have no place at Hood College, so please know that, regardless of your ancestry, you belong here. If you need emotional support during this difficult time, do not hesitate to use the counseling services provided to all Hood students (more information here).
Yours in solidarity,
April M. Boulton, Ph.D.
Dean of the Graduate School
Dear Hood Community:
Last week’s targeted killings of Asian American women in Atlanta, Georgia, are a painful reminder of the ways in which racism and misogyny intersect. Of the 8 victims, 6 were Asian American women. We’ve also seen, yet again, the ways in which these terrible forces align with gun violence in hate crimes, and are then either minimized or seen as inevitable. They are not inevitable. March 16th’s murders were not inevitable, nor are they even remotely comprehensible as (in the words of one Atlanta official) one man’s ‘bad day.’ They are, however, part of both a centuries-long hypersexualizing of women of color, and a recent increase in anti-Asian sentiment.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Stop AAPI Hate organization has documented over 2,500 hate incidents targeting women of Asian American descent---68% of their total documented incidents. Please join us, the African American Studies Advisory Board, as we express solidarity with all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially those here in our Hood community. Please join us in condemning the racist, misogynist violence that once more brings us together in anger, sorrow, and determination: challenge Asian American stereotypes wherever and whenever you can; stay alert to local and national hate crimes; reach out to support those who are feeling vulnerable and under attack.
African American Studies Advisory Board
(Members in alphabetical order: Dr. William Allen, Dr. Amy Gottfried, Dr. Diane Graves, Rev. Beth O’Malley, Dr. Terry Anne Scott, Dr. Atiya Smith, Dr. Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs)
Dear Hood friends,
Today is St. Patrick’s Day and I’d planned to send a seasonal message celebrating spring but serious events in the world deserve our attention.
Last night 8 people were killed in Atlanta, Georgia at three separate businesses. According to investigators six of the victims were Asian women. This tragedy comes as communities across the United States experience an increase in attacks on members of Asian-American communities. These events come after months of social justice protests in the US and years of injustice to communities of color and people living in poverty.
Violence is not confined to our nation. A devastating coup is engulfing the country of Myanmar and kidnappings of school children continue in Nigeria. And hanging over all of this like a dense fog are the realities of COVID and whatever you’re navigating in your own personal life. If you’re ready to delete this message and take a nap to escape the tsunami of sadness, I understand. We’re living through a difficult time. The situations noted all touch our Hood community is ways that may be invisible but are powerfully real – we have classmates, colleagues and friends struggling to keep going as they deal with these pressures.
There are no easy answers or quick fixes but we gain strength from each other and from a compassionate community that works to ensure safety for everyone. Please take a moment, breathe, and read the two blessings below. The first, ‘Give Us Hope”, comes from Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and the second, “Beannacht”, was written by the late Irish poet John O’Donohue. May the words and images bring you comfort, strength and inspiration to support someone who needs your care right now.
Give Us Hope
When evil darkens our world, give us light. When despair numbs our souls, give us hope. When we stumble and fall, lift us up.
When doubts assail us, give us faith. When nothing seems sure, give us trust. When ideals fade, give us vision. When we lose our way, be our guide!
That we may find serenity in Your presence, and purpose in doing Your will. Amen.
On the day when
The weight deadens
On your shoulders
And you stumble,
May the clay dance
To balance you.
And when your eyes
The grey window
And the ghost of loss
Gets in to you,
May a flock of colours,
Indigo, red, green,
And azure blue,
Come to awaken in you
A meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
In the currach of thought
And a stain of ocean
Blackens beneath you,
May there come across the waters
A path of yellow moonlight
To bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.
[John O’Donohue. Note: "Beannacht" is the Gaelic word for "blessing." A "currach" is a large boat used on the west coast of Ireland.]
Reverend Beth O’Malley
McHenry Dean of the Chapel
Dear Hood Community,
Today is Juneteenth, which commemorates the date in 1865 that the Union Army’s General Gordon Granger went to Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of both the Civil War and slavery. The declaration came more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, which was supposed to free all enslaved people in the Confederacy.
Now more than ever it is important to recognize this day – both as a sign of hope and a call to action.
Recent events have highlighted continued systemic racism and social injustice for African Americans, demonstrating how much work there still is to be done.
In 2017, Hood launched its strategic plan, Moving Together Beyond Boundaries, which included Strengthen the Hood Community as one of its three primary goals. In part, the plan stated that: “Hood has been characterized by a community that cares deeply about and respects each individual member and is known for the care and support we provide to our students. We must affirm and strengthen that culture in order to provide a vibrant, inclusive and rewarding environment for our students, faculty and staff.”
Many steps have been taken to achieve that goal: increasing the diversity of our trustees, faculty and staff; establishing the Class of 1968 Diversity Scholarship; opening the Martha E. Church Center for Civic Engagement in order to expand opportunities for students to engage in civic activities focused on social justice issues; providing diversity training for all members of our community; adapting structures, policies and activities to be more inclusive; and most recently, creating a process and policies to decisively respond to incidents of bias. We have committed to an administrative restructuring plan that includes a vice president whose responsibilities will focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.
And yet, there is so much more to be done. As Hood’s president, I am fully committed to those efforts. Also, as an institution of higher education, we are all called upon to help address social and educational disparities in our wider community. I ask each member of the Hood community to join me in not letting this moment in history pass. Students, I encourage you to continue using your voices and your passion -- we are truly stronger together.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
Dear Hood Community,
Our spirits have been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis and the individual ways it has affected each of us. Just as we see the reopening of counties and states, we are struck by another national tragedy – the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, while in police custody. Like so many of you, I am heartbroken over yet another senseless death of a man of color by those who have sworn to protect us and uphold the law. These acts of violence are occurring all too often, and we must not only condemn them but demand justice.
My heart goes out to our students, faculty, staff, trustees and alumni of color who are once again reminded of the inequities and violence they continue to face. I see you. I support you. I stand beside you. As some protests are turning violent, I pray for the residents, especially our students and alumni who make their home in those cities, that they stay safe.
At Hood, we will continue to strive to uphold the ideals of the values pledge brought forth by the Student Government Association in 2018-19. We will hold tight to the sense of unity we shared last December when we walked from one side of campus to the other, proclaiming No Hate at Hood.
Stay safe, stay strong, and be kind to one another.
Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D.
Dear members of the Hood community,
Recent events on our campus and in the larger U.S. have compelled The Graduate School at Hood College to examine our office’s culture and to take actions against racism and divisive culture. We affirm that Black Lives Matter. We also believe that education has the power to improve lives. But education, like many benefits in our society, is not equally accessible to everyone. Underrepresented and marginalized groups have been experiencing inequity for centuries. However, The Graduate School is committed to developing high-quality educational opportunities for allstudents, especially students of color and students from other marginalized and/or historically underserved communities. As a team, we are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice (DEIJ) for all people. To that end, we are taking action by:
- Improving our projected culture and practices in recruiting, welcoming and serving diverse populations of graduate students. This requires reviewing our services, resources and leadership opportunities, including the recent appointment of a diversity-inclusion liaison on our team (Vanessa Solis).
- Supporting the DEIJ mission through education of faculty, staff and students, such as cultural sensitivity trainings and mental-health listening sessions, in addition to recruiting outside speakers with expertise in DEIJ practices.
- Evaluating our internal culture and practices to ensure we are doing all we can to be a more inclusive workplace.
We acknowledge the intersections across race, gender, economics, sexuality and educational equity, including the “digital divide” in online and hybrid education which disproportionately impacts students of color. Most importantly, The Graduate School stands with the Hood College community against racist actions and violence against people of color and transgender individuals. This means that we are committed to engaging with our campus and local communities in tough conversations about inequalities, identify the signs of systematic racism and develop effective solutions. We choose to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. We welcome your ideas for improvement—share them with us.
April M. Boulton, Ph.D. (she/her)
Dean of the Graduate School
Dear Hood College Students:
We, the faculty at Hood College, stand with you in unity. We have witnessed the events of the past several nights, and experienced the frustration and anger engendered by the reasons that created a need for the protests. We, like you, understand that the protests and frustrations are not just about the murder of African Americans by law enforcement. They are also about the daily harassments and indignities suffered by black and brown people at the hands of the criminal justice system and far too many other entities and individuals. We, too, have been greatly impacted by the frustration inherent in witnessing a disproportionate number of black and brown people die from the Covid-19 pandemic. We understand that the anger in the country at this time is about the structural inequality that has created seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress. We stand with you in unity.
At times it seems that things have not gotten better, but we must all remember that people working together in solidarity have made changes in society. We realize that it does not feel like this at the present moment. The pain of what we are witnessing, experiencing, seems overwhelming. The static nature of how black lives are devalued in this country is maddening, but remember that we can facilitate change. We, as a people, can and will prevail. History tells us that change has occurred through the persistence of those who stand up for justice and work to eliminate racism. The foot soldiers who woke up each morning and put one foot in front of the other on the path toward freedom during the Modern Civil Rights Movement did not stop. They worked to create new moral paradigms; they successfully urged the creation of new legislation. They stood together for the cause of liberty, of justice, to force a nation to confront its wicked reality and to make the words written in the founding documents apply to all. We can and must continue the work of those foot soldiers as we march toward a world of equity and justice.
We, the faculty at Hood College, are here to help create and maintain community. At this time, we ask that you take care of yourselves both physically and mentally. If you are struggling and need help, please reach out to any one of us and we will help you.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once stated: "Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be." If you are searching for ways that you can get involved in facilitating change, there are links at the end of this message that you might find helpful.
- Dr. Terry Anne Scott – Associate Professor of History, Director of African Americans Studies
- Dr. Tamelyn Tucker-Worgs – Associate Professor of Political Science, Department Chair, Virginia E. Lewis Professor of Political Science
- Dr. Malikah Marrus – Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Education
- Dr. Diane R. Graves – Associate Professor of Psychology – Program Director, Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies in Human Behavior
- Dr. Atiya R. Smith – Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling, Advisor to BSUDr. Malikah Marrus – Assistant Professor of Social Work, Director of Field Education
- Dr. Hoda Zaki - Professor Emerita of Political Science - Founder of the African American Studies Program, Hood College
- Dr. Lisa Marcus – Professor of French
- Dr. Emilie Amt – Hildegarde-Pilgram Professor of History
- Dr. Heather Mitchell-Buck – Associate Professor of English
- Dr. Janis Judson – Professor of Political Science - Chair of Law and Criminal Justice
- Dr. April Jehan Morris – Associate Professor of Art History
- Dr. Ann Boyd - Professor of Biology - Program Director, Master's in Biomedical Science
- Dr. Danielle Albrecht - Adjunct Lecturer, Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Dr. Ashish Chakradhar - Assistant Professor of Chemistry
- Dr. April M. Boulton, - Dean of the Graduate School - Associate Professor of Biology
- Cheryl D. Parrott, MA, CT, Adjunct Professor of Psychology
- Professor Katherine Orloff - Associate Professor of Journalism - Director, Communication Arts Program - Co-Director, Integrated Marketing Communication major
- Dr. Katrina P. Jongman-Sereno - Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling
- Dr. Teresa Rivera Bean – Assistant Professor of Law and Criminal Justice
- Andy Nichols - Adjunct Instructor, Physical Education
- Dr. Anita Jose - Professor of Management and ACBSP Coordinator
- Dr. Amy Gottfried – Professor of English
- Dr. Drew Ferrier – Professor of Biology – Director, Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies
- Dr. Shannon Kundey - Associate Professor of Psychology
- Dr. Jay Harrison – Associate Professor History, Department Chair
- Dr. Donald Wright - Professor of French and Arabic - Director of Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies
- Dr. Wayne L. Wold – Professor of Music
- Dr. Brenna Hill - Adjunct, Biology Department
- Dr. Didier Course - Professor of French - Cultural Studies
- Alan Goldenbach - Assistant Professor of Journalism
- Dr. Emily Southgate - Senior Scholar, Biology Department
- Reverend Beth O’Malley – Dean of the Chapel
- Dr. Fred Bohrer - Professor of Art (emeritus), Department of Art and Archaeology
- Dr. Elizabeth Knapp - Associate Professor of English, Co-Director of the Creative Writing Concentration
- Dr. David R. Hixson - Professor of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Cultural Geography
- Dr. Ahmed H. Salem - Associate Professor of Computer science and Information Technology
- Director of Master of Information Technology
- Dr. Kerry Strand - Professor Emeritus of Sociology
- Dr. Elizabeth B. Chang - Professor Emerita of Mathematics and Computer Science
- Dr. Kristine Calo - Associate Professor of Education - Program Director, Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction
- Dr. Laura Moore – Associate Professor of Sociology, Department Chair
- Dr. Ricky Hirschhorn, Professor of Biology
- Dr. Marisel N. Torres-Crespo - Associate Professor of Education - Coordinator of Online Instruction - Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator
- Dr. Tricia K. Strickland – Associate Professor of Education - Elementary / Special Education Program Coordinator
- Dr. Sara Malec - Assistant Professor of Mathematics
- Dr. Xinlian Liu - Associate Professor of Computer Science
- Dr. Susan Carney - Associate Professor of Biology - Director, Environmental Biology Master’s Program
- James Stanker, Visiting Professor of Business and Economics
- Dr. Martha Bari--Assistant Professor of Art History
- Dr. Elizabeth Atwood - Associate Professor of Journalism - Head Small Programs Interest Group/AEJMC
- Dr. Elizabeth Mackessy-Lloyd, Assistant Professor, Nursing
- Dr. Paulette Shockey - Assistant Professor
- Terry Buck - Adjunct Professor of Communication Arts
- Dr. Shannon Kakkar - Assistant Professor, Counseling Department
- Dr. Jennifer C. Ross – Professor of Art & Archaeology
- Dr. Megan Shaine – Assistant Professor of Psychology and Counseling -Practicum and Internship Coordinator Core Faculty, Master's in Counseling (Clinical and School)
- Dr. Scott E. Pincikowski - Professor of German - Director of Study Abroad - Fulbright Adviser
- Dr. Andrea Chapdelaine – Professor of Psychology
- Erika Moyer - Head Strength and Conditioning Coach / PE Director
- Dr. David Gurzick - Associate Professor of Management - Department Chair, The George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business
- Dr. Ellen G. Koitz - Associate Professor of Education and Director of the MS in Reading Specialization Program
- Dr. Noel Verzosa, Jr. - Associate Professor of Music - Chair of the Music Department
- Dr. Daehwan Kim - Assistant Professor of Biology - The Hodson/Maryland Endowed Chair in Advanced Bioproducts Research and Education
- Dr. Christopher J. Stromberg - Professor of Chemistry
- Dr. Georgette N. Jones - Assistant Professor of Biology
- Gretchen Nonemaker – Student Success Coach
- Kathryn Ryberg - Reference and Education Services Librarian
- Dr. Eric Annis, - Associate Professor of Biology
- Dr. Molly B. Moreland – Assistant Professor of Cognitive Psychology
- Kaitlyn May – Access Services Librarian
- Jessica Hammack - Reference and Education Services Librarian
- Dr. Allen P. Flora – Professor of Physics
- Joseph Haymore, DNP, RN, ACNP-BC - Assistant Professor of Nursing
- Dr. Trevor Dodman – Associate Professor of English
- Dr. Lisa J. Littlefield – Dean, Center for Career Development
- Dr. Karen D. Hoffman - Professor of Philosophy - Honors Program, Co-Director – Chair of Philosophy and Religious Studies
- Mary Atwell – Archivist and Collections Development Librarian
- Dr. Jamie K. Jones - Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Work
- Dr. Ryan Safner - Assistant Professor of Economics
- Elfie Chang - Metadata & Cataloging Librarian
- Ms. Stephanie Curran - Adjunct Instructor of Philosophy and Religion
- Dr. Michelle Gricus - Assistant Professor of Social Work
- Dr. Christy D. Graybeal - Associate Professor of Education, Department Chair
- Dr. Kathy Falkenstein – Associate Professor of Biology, Department Chair
- Dr. Corey Campion – Associate Professor of History
- Lisa Copenhaver – Director of Student Success
- Linda J. Kennedy, PhD, RN, CNE - Chair, Baccalaureate Nursing Program - Assistant Professor of Nursing
- Dr. G. Dimitoglou - Associate Professor of Computer Science
- Dr. Jerry Van Winter – Associate Professor of Marketing
- Chris Gibeau – Head Swimming Coach / Aquatic Director
- Dr. Ann Stewart - Professor of Mathematics - Chair, Department of Mathematics
- Dr. Carin Robinson - Department of Political Science
- Dr. Paige Eager - Professor of Political Science - Director, Center for Global Studies - Program Director, Global Studies Major
- Melissa Carter - Adjunct Professor of Chemistry
- Dr. Craig Laufer, Professor of Biology and Co-Director Honors Program
- Griselda Zuffi - Professor of Spanish - Chair Department of Global Languages and Cultures
- Dr. Eric C. Kindahl - Associate Professor of Biology - Director, Environmental Science & Policy Program
- Dr. Andrew Campbell, Assistant Professor of Psychology & Counseling
- Dr. Jen Krishnaswamy - Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
- Dr. Mel Zuberi – Assistant Professor of Marketing
- Dr. Aijuan Dong, Associate Professor - Department of Computer Science and Information Technology
- Jennifer Schum, Dean of Student Success
- Brooke Witherow, Assistant Professor of Communications
- Dr. Janak Joshi, Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics
- Dr. Rebecca Grove - Assistant Professor, Education Department
- Dr. Mary Jo Anderson, Assistant Professor of Management, Endowed Chair of Project Management
- Dr. Aaron Angello - Sophia M. Libman Professor of Humanities
- Jennifer Cooper, DNP, RN, PHNA-BC, CNE - Assistant Professor of Nursing
- Michael Brazda, Adjunct Instructor Sociology
- Jennifer Schum, Dean of Student Success
- Dr. Jennifer Locraft Cuddapah - Associate Professor of Education
- Dr. Oney P. Smith, Professor of Biology
- Dr. Miranda Darby - Assistant Professor of Bioinformatics
- Dee Engel Oliva - RN Hood Health Nurse
- Dr. Susan Ensel - Whitaker Professor of Chemistry - Advisor of DC
- Dr. Carol M. Jim - Assistant Professor of Computer Science
- Chaz Martinsen - Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Ceramics Program Director
- Dr. Kathleen C. Bands - Professor of Education - Program Director, Doctoral Program in Organizational Leadership
- Paula Gordon - PDS Director, Elementary & Secondary Liaison
- RoseAnn Markow Lester - Adjunct Instructor, Music Department
- Sandra L. Thomas-Lalmansingh, PhD, RN, CMSRN - Assistant Professor of Nursing
- Dr. Jen Krishnaswamy - Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
- Brian D. Hinkley - Adjunct Instructor, Music Department
Things that you can do now to eradicate racial injustice and promote change
The following link includes numbers for various offices in Minnesota. You can call today to urge officials to arrest the three police officers who remain free as of today:
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
To Students, Faculty, Staff, Mentors, and Leaders at Hood College,
The Department of Art and Archaeology writes today to express our solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. In the last few weeks, we have watched protests erupt all over the nation concerning the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDae, Nina Pop, and so many other people of color who have been brutalized and killed by police throughout our history, which includes the unquestionable reality of white supremacy in the United States.
As many of us are aware, these murders are not isolated incidents. State-sanctioned violence against people of color in America has been fundamental to the United States’ conceptualization of democracy and justice. As scholars Christina Sharpe and activist Tamika D. Mallory have made clear, Black people, especially, continue to fight for their lives in the aftermath of slavery, which can be measured by just a couple of generations, and we recognize how these governmental systems built on anti-black violence continue to adapt over time.
We also recognize that the pandemic and ongoing actions in support of the Black Lives Matter movement are not mutually exclusive, but are in fact intimately intertwined. As we have seen, people of color in the United States continue to be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. This is compounded by the fact that, throughout the pandemic, people of color have been unduly targeted and arrested when enforcing social distancing guidelines. As a department, we acknowledge that the impact of the pandemic is unevenly distributed and that the associated anxieties, risks, pains, financial losses, and deaths are disproportionately borne by people of color and, specifically, Black people. Let us not forget that racism is also a public health emergency.
As a department, we want to acknowledge escalated police brutality over the past few years as well as the collateral insecurities brought on by the global pandemic. As a small liberal-arts university, we take it as our duty to communicate directly with students and to provide resources that support the well-being of our entire community, especially students of color. Given the alarmingly small community of Black students who practice studio art and/or study art history and archaeology, or are majors within our department, it is incumbent upon us to provide direct acknowledgement and support.
In the last few weeks, we have all been prompted to reflect on the multiple levels of privilege we occupy within the spaces we navigate. Given our positions as educators and mentors, we in the Department of Art and Archaeology want to bridge theory with practice and take tangible steps towards addressing and dismantling racist ideologies within our academic community. As a department we uphold basic humanistic ideals and take pride in our role in the fight for social equity.
As a Department, we will continue to support our students by considering the following actions, demands, and reflections. We write, unanimously, to initiate structural, long-term change through an ongoing discourse.
Actions, demands, and items to reflect on as a Department:
- Both Art History and Archaeology, as fields of studies and as part of the broader art world, are deeply rooted in histories of colonization, anti-blackness, patriarchy, and white supremacy. We regularly introduce those concepts as the core foundations of each semester’s lessons. While many of us use our scholarship as a form of activism by bringing visibility to underrepresented topics, geographies, and peoples, we must recognize where our scholarship falls short of praxis. In moving forward, the department will actively reflect on how it is addressing racial bias in our discipline and in the world. We commit to examining course offerings, assigned readings in course syllabi, library purchasing practices, student funding and mentoring, and future faculty hires. We also have plans to make racism a focus of the undergraduate writing course (ART 306) in Spring 2021.
- We will reconsider our efforts with regards to faculty hires and make it a priority to hire specialists in non-Western arts and cultures based on the needs of our students. As more and more students work on topics related to non-Western and Black arts and visual culture and/or critical race theory, it is imperative that we discontinue the practice of outsourcing pedagogical labor to other departments or institutions simply because we have no internal members or faculty who directly work in these fields (which we do). Even the appearance of eliminating the African-American Studies program, proposed last year, was deemed offensive to our departmental members.
- In a period when a model for our discipline is to become more interdisciplinary and to work across fields and departments, we wish to consider how other departments within the humanities and social sciences at other academic institutions, such as Anthropology, Sociology, African American and Ethnic Studies, are materially vulnerable. Practicing anti-racist work and enacting structural change within our department will not only benefit our department’s majors and minors, but also those from across campus who are physically present in our spaces—students who take our upper-classmen seminars, attend our events, and ask professors from our department to serve on their committees. What kind of environments are we fostering in classrooms and lecture halls? Are we thoughtfully supporting, validating, and encouraging the insights of Black, Indigenous, and POC students? Do Black, Indigenous, and POC students, scholars, and academics have a voice and space in our pedagogy? As a research institution that advocates debate, expression, and intellectual thinking, it is Hood’s duty to engage in dialogue with our students and discuss topics that bring into relief structural problems and topics of race and identity that may be uncomfortable or viewed as non-normative/anti-canonical. This has, and will continue to be, our commitment to the students of Hood College.
- We will continue to use gallery space, when available, to provide opportunities for exhibitions and artwork that spark dialogue about social issues, identity, and racism. Last year we showcased the work of Hood alum Taurean Washington, a painter who engages with the cultural value of hip hop music, and Joseph Norman, a renowned African-American artist who explores racial tension and meanings of Blackness in America. We will also contemplate strategies for change in curation and actively explore how we may re-think the art historical canon, resist sexism, challenge heterocentrism, acknowledge white privilege, and tackle ethnocentrism through the display of art. We must ask ourselves: How can we better engage with students and local communities on issues that are important for them via art events and departmental activities on campus? And, as faculty members, we can all be better representatives of the larger community by actively attending such functions as art openings.
- Most importantly, we will reflect on how academic culture, in being predicated upon internal divides, individualism, fear of open conflict, and perfectionism, gets in the way of doing anti-racist work and supporting the student body. Rather than accepting any departmental culture as a “natural” result of interpersonal relationships, we will examine the ways in which we actively create and sustain that positive culture. An active part of our work as scholars will be to enact anti-racism and practice through kindness, generosity, and an ethics of care.
Recognizing that the Department of Art & Archaeology cannot take action independently of the other academic departments, and of the college as a whole, we are grateful to other parts of the college (departments and divisions) that have already made public their intentions to reflect on and respond to racism. We ask that the college’s administration also commit to additional actions, including but not limited to the following:
- We ask that the Administration share resources on how to protest safely amidst the pandemic, signposting where to donate for victims of anti-black violence, or providing information on whom to contact in case of arrest.
- We will also ask that the Administration alert students who have been deeply affected by the pandemic about funding opportunities (scholarships, grants) that will allow them to remain in academia and continue college attendance.
In closing, we in the Department of Art and Archaeology wanted to put together this collective effort to think about our respective disciplines (and academia, in general) as systems in need of structural change. These systems are part of a larger institution of higher education that has historically benefited from the oppression and objectification of Black and Brown peoples.
While we take encouragement from and are extremely proud of all of our past and ongoing initiatives towards these same goals and scholarship that have come from our department, it is now immediately necessary to refocus our attention on the work that urgently remains to be done.
Please note: we do not consider this letter a list of “fixes” which, if accomplished, would complete the work of inclusivity and anti-racism at Hood. Recognizing the efforts of students and activists who have worked to bring these issues to the campus’s attention, we call for Hood College to enter into a long and ongoing conversation about anti-racism in academia and within our community.
We look forward to continuing this dialogue with you.
Mary Jean Hughes
April Jehan Morris
Taylor Dennis Pasquale
Jennifer C. Ross
Hilary Eddy Stipelman
Statement of Support for Racial Injustice and Equality
The English/CMA/Theatre faculty stand united in our belief that Black Lives Matter. This simple, powerful phrase illustrates how vital effective communication is to human understanding and social justice—and how far we as a country need to go in combating systemic, violent racism. Part of that fight consists of choosing our words with care and opening ourselves up to the perspectives of others. Storytelling, both fictional and non-fictional, is one of the oldest ways of sharing vastly different lived experiences. Through all forms of writing—literature, media reporting, the performing arts—the English/CMA department fosters that sharing of experience, as well as the open exchange of ideas in a civil classroom. We join the ongoing struggle against all forms of racism and discrimination, and pledge the following:
- to review our course materials and curricula, and ensure they speak to and represent the experiences of all members of human society, and incorporate anti-racist principles;
- to ensure that our classrooms are safe spaces for students of color as we engage in the free and respectful sharing of ideas;
- to continue our awareness of systemic racism and discrimination of all forms.
Statement Against Racism
All the members of the Department of Global Languages and Literatures at Hood College strongly believe Black Lives Matter. We stand by and support our Black students and colleagues. We have watched the recent horrific events in Georgia, Minnesota, and elsewhere with great sadness and pain and have been reminded that racism, systemic racism, violence, and state violence against the Black community are longstanding and ongoing problems that we as a nation have failed to address. We view this tragic moment as a call to action. We as a department need to do more, both in and outside of the classroom, to address the daily traumas our Black students and colleagues experience.
As Humanists and scholars of global languages and cultures, we are well aware of our responsibility to teach our students about racism and the dangers of authoritarianism. The societies we study have perpetuated some of the worst crimes against humanity. We see the enduring effects of colonialism, ethnic cleansing, the Holocaust, and ruthless dictatorships to this very day. As language professors, we recognize that language is power; it forms the basis of societal and social hierarchies. Language can empower or disempower, include or exclude, inspire or hurt, meaning we must take great pain to ensure that all voices are heard equally in our democracy. If we do not critically examine systems of power through language, we fail to protect our democracy and ensure social justice for all.
In order to combat racism and authoritarianism, and therefore help all students, faculty, and staff at Hood College realize their full potential in our liberal democracy, we pledge to do the following:
1. We pledge to review our curricula and pedagogies so that they incorporate anti-racist and anti-authoritarian principles.
2. We pledge to make all of our courses inclusive for ALL students.
3. We pledge to teach cultural empathy. We strengthen ourselves and our community when we appreciate and understand different cultures in comparison with our own.
4. We pledge to teach our students that societies and cultures are imperfect and complicated, and that learning about these imperfections is the first step to meaningful improvement and change.
5. We pledge to teach our students that societies are comprised of many cultural traditions and that not all voices in those traditions are heard or heard equally. We must learn to listen to all voices and learn to use speech to empower others.
Statement of Support and Pledge to Address Systemic Racism
Understanding and addressing social inequities are core tenets of social work and sociological practices. We support all efforts toward the elimination of racism, including Black Lives Matters. To this end, the department faculty commit to the following:
- We will review our course materials and the broader curriculum for greater opportunities to amplify the experiences of people of color as they cross multiple intersections of difference.
- We will strive to have our faculty and field instructors better reflect the diversity of our student body.
- We will continue to engage in the difficult but necessary discussions surrounding racism and its effects in both the classroom and larger campus.
- In alignment with the principles of the liberal arts, we will engage in continual self-reflection keeping our minds open to the ever-changing ways we have available to understand ourselves and the world around us.