In our shock and anguish at tragic recent events, the faculty of the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies fully supports the following College of Letters and Science statement and ongoing efforts by the entire UCSB community to respond to these events and pursue antiracist pedagogy and a plan of accountable action. We pledge to participate in the plan outlined in the statement and join the Deans and Associate Deans in their resolve towards significant and meaningful change.
As one of many necessary steps in this process towards significant and meaningful change, GSS faculty members have started to compile an Anti-Racist Pedagogy and Programming Library, with the purpose of sharing events and resources related to anti-racist pedagogy on campus and beyond.
College of Letters and Science Statement on Racial Injustice: A Plan of Accountable Action
The College of Letters and Science shares the collective grief and anger over the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor by means of state-sanctioned violence. These deaths are hardly a new or unique phenomenon, as Black peoples and other people of color in our country have faced such violence for more than 400 years. Yet we also know that the particular context matters. The conjunction of long-standing economic and racial inequality, our nation’s history of racial violence, an ongoing pandemic, and our current political environment have served to create a national crisis that threatens the health of our communities and the viability of our multicultural and multiracial democracy.The College of Letters and Science affirms its solidarity with Black faculty, staff, and students, and expresses its support for the millions of protestors in the United States and abroad who are working to change systems of inequality. We know that words of solidarity are not sufficient for this moment, and that we must translate our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion into concrete actions and policies.
We thus commit to a plan of accountable action that includes but is not limited to the following measures:
- We will work with increased vigor and urgency with the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor to ensure that campus recruits superb teachers and scholars to fill the two open North Hall Chairs and to fully fund a North Hall Chair for Black Studies.
- In collaboration with CITRAL, the College’s Academic Success Centers, and other campus agencies we will identify resources to support students and instructors to fulfill our mission of serving the diverse students of the State of California.
- We will work with academic departments to develop strategies for improving equity and inclusion among faculty and in the classroom.
- We will redouble our efforts to recruit outstanding faculty through the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, which is one of our campus’s most effective tools for advancing faculty diversity.
- We will continue to pledge resources to support the UC-HBCU program.
- We call for the expedited appointment of UCSB’s new Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
We are resolved to stand with so many others in our campus community who work daily to ensure that UC Santa Barbara embodies our shared commitment to diversity, equity, and social justice.
The Deans and Associate Deans of the College of Letters and Science, UC Santa BarbaraMoreover, the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies endorses and pledges to participate in The Division of Humanities and Fine Arts Call for Antiracist Pedagogy and Programming as quoted in part below, such as by devising a set of strategies for improving equity and inclusion among faculty, in departmental governance, and in the classroom.
HFA Call for Antiracist Pedagogy and Programming
The Division of the Humanities and Fine Arts committed itself to the College of Letters and Science plan for accountable action issued in the wake of the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, among others, and in response to long-standing patterns of systemic violence against Black and other people of color in this country (https://www.college.ucsb.edu/news/statement-racial-injustice-plan-accoun...). As a first step in fulfilling that commitment, the leadership of HFA invites each academic department or program to discuss together the L&S plan and devise a set of strategies for improving equity and inclusion among faculty, in departmental governance, and in the classroom. We recognize that each department has its own history of challenges and accomplishments, and several departments already have identified areas that they have committed themselves to change. [...] We also recognize that because histories of racist and anti-Black patterns of thought suffuse our curricula, standards and mechanisms of evaluation, and hiring and admission practices, systemic changes are necessary to ensure a truly quality education and supportive environment for everyone. To that end, we propose an ongoing, tiered process that begins with individual departments establishing their priorities in action plans to be followed by financial and administrative support at the divisional level to coordinate and facilitate these priorities.