The faculty of the UNC Department of Geography condemn police and vigilante violence and call for justice for Black communities who have been the victims of these crimes and of systematic and institutional racism. We are outraged by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. We further acknowledge that the disproportionate death toll of COVID-19 emerges from the same long history of anti-blackness and discrimination in this country, a history that needs to end now.
As scholars and educators at an institution and in a discipline with their own histories of anti-blackness, we commit to transforming ourselves while working for students, staff, and faculty who are disproportionately harmed, and to redouble our efforts to address these issues in our teaching and research. We assert the urgency of enacting anti-racism in geographic education and university life. We pledge to better recognize and support anti-racist research and pedagogy and to take specific action to implement anti-racism in our department, discipline, and institution.