The Collegian
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Hundreds of Richmond faculty and staff sign statement to denounce racism and racist violence

<p>Students, faculty and staff organized outside Boatwright Memorial Library on Nov. 16, 2016 to positively protest the presidential election.</p>

Students, faculty and staff organized outside Boatwright Memorial Library on Nov. 16, 2016 to positively protest the presidential election.

More than 300 University of Richmond faculty and staff members have signed a statement to "oppose and denounce racism and racist violence like that witnessed in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend and condemn the KKK, neo-Nazis, and other white supremacist groups that attacked peaceful protesters and killed Heather Heyer" this week.

Faculty and staff members cited their commitment to to "building a safe and inclusive campus community, and we are united in our opposition to all hateful and discriminatory acts toward African Americans, Muslims, Jews, women, Latinos, people with disabilities, LGBTQ people, people of color, and others" in the statement.

The full statement, including signatures as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday, can be read here.

By 12:30 p.m. Thursday, the statement had been signed by 315 faculty and staff members. With signatures from hundreds of professors, ten different deans, and other faculty, including representatives from CommonGround and the Center for Civic Engagement, the statement has representation from many different areas of campus life.

Jennifer Pribble, associate professor of political science, Jennifer Bowie, associate professor of political science, and Ernesto Semán, an assistant professor of leadership studies, co-wrote the statement.

The three professors asked The Collegian to share the statement in the wake of the Charlottesville violence "so that students and other members of our community who feel threatened and targeted as the result of recent events will have a sense that white supremacy is not welcomed on our campus," the three said in an email. "It is our hope that the University of Richmond can be a positive force in rejecting white supremacy and defending the rights and liberties of all people."

Also on Wednesday, Chiara Solitario, president of the Westhampton Student Government Association, and Abbas Abid, president of the Richmond College Student Government Association, co-wrote a letter to the university community.

"Please continue to read the news and educate yourself about the world around you, community beside you, and system you are a part of," the two said in the letter. "One Richmond does not imply an absolute agreement on all issues, but a campus that can come together and enable change through dialog and conversation."

Their entire letter to the community can be read here.

On Tuesday, Richmond President Ronald Crutcher sent out a university-wide email expressing his sympathy to the Charlottesville community, as well as maintaining that higher education plays an important role in the elimination of hatred.

“At Richmond, we respect and value our First Amendment rights that encourage us to speak freely and assemble in peace,” Crutcher said. “We also believe unequivocally that hatred has no place among an educated citizenry. We continue to embrace the role higher education can play in facilitating the exchange of ideas as a means of strengthening our democracies."

The faculty statement will be updated periodically as new signatures are added.

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