Like many around our nation and the world, we here in the Brown CLPS department are heartbroken and outraged by the murder of George Floyd and of the many Black Americans before him who have been the victims of police brutality. As a department and a community, we believe that complicity lies in silence and inaction. We stand together in support of Black Americans and those protesting the bias and violence people of color endure everyday.
The racist ideologies in which these events are rooted are systemic, reaching back to the birth of our nation. We see this fact represented not only in violent acts of bias in the news presently, but in the various forms of inequality subtle, and not so subtle, that pervade many aspects of American life. We believe that everyone must fight against institutional racism in all its forms. A non-exhaustive list of resources and organizations addressing these issues can be found here, hand-curated by members of our department.
In addition, we have recently reaffirmed our commitment to anti-racism and upholding our pledge to fight for justice in our own community through our Departmental Climate Statement. The communal values expressed in this document reflect our shared vision for our department, and we recognize the necessity of honest reflection in evaluating whether we are living up to our ideals. For as long as Black lives are devalued, we have work to do.
While challenges this large must be fought through a broad mix of collective and individual action, educating oneself about the anguish and fear that others live with on a daily basis, is a necessary component of ushering in change. As a department spanning Cognitive Science, Linguistics, and Psychology, issues of racism and group violence intersect with the various (sub)disciplines in our department in many ways. While understanding these connections is of course a much larger endeavor, we have compiled a brief reading list of research in our fields relating to race, racism, power, and the criminal justice system to help educate both ourselves and the broader community.