The undersigned faculty and staff of the Chican@ & Latin@ Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison hail the Minnesota jury’s guilty verdict on the charges in the death of George Floyd. This verdict is an important step and signals that change toward a more just society is possible in the United States. We also acknowledge the extraordinary social movements that have emerged following last year’s police killings of unarmed African Americans and members of BIPOC communities. Those movements have clearly contributed to this result. WE STILL STAND IN SOLIDARITY with calls for radical transformation of our country’s criminal justice system, and we remain committed to transformative and inclusive education that privileges full humanity, promotes social equality, and fosters well-being for all.
We thank the Chancellor and Interim Deputy Vice Chancellor Gittens for their recent statements on the trial, and all our campus partners who are working so hard to seek solutions to our common problems and to promote positive dialogue about race, justice, and belonging. We echo the words of wisdom that Dean Eric Wilcots shared in a statement to the College of Letters and Science on April 20, 2021, “I do not know what it will take or how long it will take. But I do know that it will be harder and take longer if we are not all dedicated to ending bias and injustice all the time. Let us commit ourselves to that cause.” We also support the Student Government recent decision to call for a second Ethnic Studies Requirement at UW Madison at this time. If students want their education to help them grapple with social injustice, we should support them in this and rise to the challenge. We hope members of the CLS familia and others in the community will avail themselves of the many resources for education and action provided by the College of Letters and Science and by the University, as we all process recent events and think about how to move forward.
Black lives matter.
Mary Louise Gomez