Peace and Justice Studies stands with Black Lives Matter and those protesting for racial and social justice. Without justice there can be no peace. This is a pivotal moment which holds the potential for transformative social change. The murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others by the police are the visible and recent signs of pervasive and enduring systemic racism and structural violence. There are many others forms of systemic racism and structural violence that disproportionately impact racialized minorities: over-policing, police brutality, repression, surveillance, threats of violence and excessive force, mass incarceration, the COVID-19 pandemic and health disparities, differential access to education and employment to name only a few.
Peace and Justice Studies provides the tools to develop critical thinking and analytic skills to examine how systemic racism and structural violence have persisted and compounded since the European colonization of North America. Our thematic and analytic frameworks recognize the importance of understanding intersectionality and the ways in which overlapping systems of oppression and discrimination intensify injustices. We challenge ourselves and our students to recognize the consequences of systemic racism and structural violence both large and small, at MSU, in the United States and globally, and to become part of the force for dismantling these structures of oppression.
We recognize that words are not enough and that concrete steps must be taken to actively work against pervasive and systemic racism.
* continue to highlight the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement in the exit course for college minor.
* require anti-racism readings in entry and exit courses.
* ensure that scholars of color are represented in readings assigned in entry, exit, and core courses.
* encourage students to apply for the Thomas H and Margarette M Greer Endowment for Peace and Justice Studies to support projects on anti-racism and state violence.
* create contexts to reflect on going racial injustice and protests against it.
* encourage students and faculty to take advantage of university sponsored workshops on anti-racism and implicit bias.
* advocate for creating a more diverse faculty at MSU.
We encourage our students and faculty to focus their energy, dedication and creativity to engage with issues of racial injustice and efforts to create a just world in which all human beings are valued and respected and afforded equal opportunities.