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Sociology

College of the Sciences

The Department of Sociology at Central Washington University is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus, community, and society

The Department of Sociology at Central Washington University is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive campus, community, and society. We are also committed to promoting conversations about the challenges faced by our society. A sociological lens affords us the opportunity to understand the latest incidents of police who have killed George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others. Racist violence at the hands of police forces has a long history in America (1). Today unarmed black people are nearly four times more likely than unarmed white people to be killed by police (2). Native American people and Latinx people are also significantly more likely to be killed by the police (3). This is not just the result of a few outliers in the justice system. As University of Maryland sociology professor, Rashawn Ray, writes “bad apples come from rotten trees—law enforcement agencies imbued with structural racism” (4). Racism is sewn into the fabric of society, shaping American institutions including the criminal justice system, healthcare, and education (5). To say “Black lives matter” is to understand and to challenge the legacy of white supremacy in this country (6).

 

We write in support of our Black and other racialized students, faculty, and staff who face challenges of racism that white students, faculty, and staff do not face. We support the rights of peaceful protesters in cities across the country, including here in Ellensburg and Washington, who demand justice, accountability, and change. We encourage our elected leaders at all levels to listen seriously to these voices and enact meaningful, evidence-based changes in our justice system.

If you need academic support as you finish the quarter, or as you move forward, please contact your course instructors, advisors, other faculty, or the department chairs –

 

Pamela McMullin-Messier

 

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References

(1) https://www.theblackscholar.org/100-50-25-3-reflections-anti-black-violence-america-ashley-m-howard/

(2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4824696/

(3) https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793

(4) https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/05/30/bad-apples-come-from-rotten-trees-in-policing/

(5) https://theconversation.com/george-floyd-and-ahmaud-arbery-deaths-racism-causes-life-threatening-conditions-for-black-men-every-day-120541

(6) https://www.vera.org/securing-equal-justice/building-bridges-between-police-and-communities; https://www.urban.org/policy-centers/justice-policy-center/projects/national-initiative-building-community-trust-and-justice

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