The Department of Sociology stands in solidarity with those in the United States and around the world who are engaged in the ongoing struggle to seek racial justice and affirm that Black Lives Matter. Sociology, as a discipline, has long grappled with ways to understand and challenge institutional racism starting with the work of W.E.B. DuBois in the early 20th century and continuing to the present.
We, in sociology, strive to be a home for critical thought, timely scholarship, and action in pursuit of a more just society. As a department, we prioritize research that studies a range of social justice issues with the objective of producing findings that can lead to better outcomes. Whether specializing in the study of race by examining blackness in Latin America or analyzing race in conjunction with other social issues, our teaching and research highlights the operations of racism in criminal justice systems, migration, intimate partner violence, gun violence, work and labor, health, social movements and more.
As members of the LMU community, we stand in support of Black faculty, students and staff, and we challenge oppression based on race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, nationality and other statuses. We are guided by our mission in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions to build a world in which we can all be free and equal and in which we speak out against injustice in all of its forms.
To our students: In this extremely difficult time, please know that we support you and are never more than an email away. We encourage you to maintain your faith in humanity even as you continually see evidence of mankind at its worst. Hold on to a vision of a better America, and understand that we, as a nation, are capable of doing much better than this. Understand that there will be many tomorrows beyond the storms of today, and that the world needs the ideas, advances, and leadership that your generation has to offer.
We encourage you to maintain your social and political engagement as we move through the coming election cycle. Register to vote, and prepare yourself to cast an informed ballot. If you hold residency in multiple states, vote where you expect your ballot to matter most. Keep in mind that there are many important elections beyond the race for the White House. Invest time to learn about the smaller races so that you can support candidates who reflect your values and priorities. Until November, always feel comfortable contacting your elected officials to voice your concerns and priorities, and maintain the urgency around important issues.
To our Black and other students of color: You are valued. We realize that this upsurge in visible violence against Black lives affects your well-being and day-to-day life in ways that we cannot adequately verbalize. Over the span of three weeks, we have seen devastating video footage and news headlines that seem to combine the worst of the 1940s, the 1960s, and the 1990s. Even through this, we are encouraged by a growing racial justice movement that cuts across racial and ethnic lines, indicating a much greater understanding of America’s racism problem among non-Blacks. More importantly, there seems to be a growing realization that the anti-Black violence of White supremacy must be confronted and dismantled by all. We affirm our commitment to working together to create a world where all Black lives matter and especially Black joy and resilience are respected and celebrated. We also want to make clear to our Latinx, Muslim/Middle Eastern American, Asian American, and indigenous students that we condemn past and present racist practices and policies that have targeted and affected your communities. We are especially troubled by the lack of adequate reporting and recognition of the many Latinx and indigenous lives lost to police violence.