ALECC Preliminary Statement on Anti-Racism (June 8, 2020)
Dear ALECC community,
ALECC stands in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and the protests for racial justice in the United States, Canada, and beyond. We support their expressions of grief and outrage for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, D’Andre Campbell, and Chantel Moore, along with so many others. We condemn the deeply entrenched, systemic racism that pervades American and Canadian institutions of law enforcement, and we denounce the police violence enacted upon the bodies of Black and Brown people as a result. We support the protesters in their demands for justice for the victims of this violence, both those whose names we know and those whose names we do not. Their lives matter.
In addition to expressing support for and solidarity with Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, ALECC recognizes the need to eradicate the inequity that pervades virtually all aspects of academia, including the environmental humanities. Thus, we plan to work to identify and dismantle systemic racism and white privilege within our organization and our field, as well as affiliated communities and institutions. We deeply regret that BIPOC students, scholars, and artists have too often borne the burden of calling out and resisting the unexamined injustices embedded in our conferences, publications, and communications.
As a Canadian environmental humanities association, ALECC is particularly invested in recognizing and supporting the scholarship, writing, art, and leadership of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and the pursuit of ecological justice in Canada and around the world. We commit to amplifying BIPOC voices in our cultural and scholarly communities. In order to do so, we have taken several concrete steps:
1. The editorial team of our journal, The Goose, is actively working on building capacity to address systemic racism in the journal and the environmental humanities; to welcome and support more BIPOC contributors; and to continue to publish work at the intersection of nature, race, environmental justice, and decolonization.
2. We commit to establishing antiracist funding to support Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour and other historically oppressed groups to participate fully in ALECC’s conferences and other activities.
3. We are establishing a dedicated committee to put step #2 into practice and to explore further actions.
We encourage our members and communities to champion the ongoing work of BIPOC intellectuals, artists, and activists as we work to move from collective grief to collective action.