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Ethnic Studies

Thursday, June 4th Zoom Discussion with Ethnic Studies on Murder of George Floyd and Police Violence

June 03, 2020

Ethnic Studies Statement on Murder of George Floyd and Police Violence

The Steering Committee of Ethnic Studies at Lewis & Clark College deplores the wanton lynching of George Floyd by four police officers in Minneapolis. We also recognize that this act is part of a long legacy of white supremacy and racism in this country. Having studied this country’s history and having direct experiences with racism and police violence, we are not surprised. We are heartened, however, that hundreds of thousands of mostly young people have taken to the streets across the country in the midst of a pandemic, not only to demand an end to such police violence, but also to protest against a system that has subordinated black people for more than 350 years.

As faculty at a predominantly white institution, we are especially aware of our responsibility not only to continue studying racism, but to figure out ways to combat such racism in the society at large as well as on our own campus. George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, but Portland suffers from a similar history of racist policing. The latest data shows that black Portlanders are 8.5 times as likely as white people to experience police use-of-force, a ratio that is even higher than in Minneapolis. There is a lot of work to do to reduce police violence overall and end discriminatory practices against communities of color. We hope this moment will inspire our students, faculty, staff and alumni to get involved in the communities they are involved in to make positive change. At its best, this is what Lewis & Clark is about.

We will be hosting a virtual forum on Zoom on Thursday, June 4th noon to 1 pm (PDT) to discuss the murder of George Floyd, police violence, and possible ways to take action. We invite the whole Lewis & Clark community to participate.


Ethnic Studies Steering Committee

Kimberly Brodkin, Associate Professor with Term of Humanities

Kundai Chirindo, Associate Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies

Reiko Hillyer, Associate Professor of History

Kabir Mansingh Heimsath, Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Asian Studies with Term

Magalí Rabasa, Assistant Professor of Hispanic Studies

Freddy Vilches, Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies

Sarah Warren, Associate Professor of SOAN

Elliott Young, Professor of History

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