‘We choose to work for change’: Statement from the ECU School of Communication on racism and prejudice

Racism in America is and always has been real, horrific and shameful, and once again it has taken the murders of Black Americans—Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd—to deliver us to the moment of choosing.

We, the faculty and staff of the ECU School of Communication, choose to work for change. Real and lasting positive change. It will be hard and uncomfortable, and we will stay the course.

We start by acknowledging the trauma that America’s systemic racism has inflicted on our students and colleagues and visitors and citizens of color.

We dedicate ourselves to working to end dehumanization in all its ugly forms.

We vow to strengthen our support for diversity in all its miraculous forms.

We stand up for the constitutional right of peaceful protest, and the right of peaceful protesters to be loud and emotional and free from harm.

We stand up for the constitutional right of journalists to do their jobs; to be our lookouts on the world and our watchdogs over government.

We dedicate ourselves to making concrete action out of our words.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will work on ways to take our students into the hard and uncomfortable conversations about racism, power and privilege. We will work on ways to involve our alumni and members of the local community. We will work on these and other things that can make a positive difference.

Black lives matter too. Indigenous lives and the lives of people of color matter too. When all of us at long last admit that truth, then all lives will truly matter.

The time of choosing is upon us all. All of us must choose to stare down racism and prejudice and to end them.