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Statement in Response to the Death of George Floyd

Updated June 19, 2020

The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook stands in support of the current surge of efforts to end racism and to eradicate entrenched, systemic violence against Black people. Indeed, Black lives matter, Black experience matters, and Black knowledge is of vital importance for humanity.

Following the example of the many people who have taken to the streets to demonstrate in denunciation of the police-inflicted, violent death of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor and Tony McDade, we think it is a time for each of us to contribute to this renewed sense of urgency to dismantle racial oppression, to eradicate the racism and inequality it engenders, and to end the violence of anti-black racism both here and abroad.

As a space dedicated to research, teaching and pedagogy, HISB has, and will continue, to act in these directions through its programming and through offering its spaces as venues where students, faculty, staff, and community members may convene, express their knowledge, and strategize about the best practices to build a world free of racial oppression and injustice.

For this coming Fall, we are actively working to program a series engaging the knowledge of Black scholars, activists and community members. We will continue our ongoing series on critical healing with special attention to the disproportionate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in Black, Native American, Asian American, and Latinx communities. We are also reaching out to BLM chapters, on campus and around the region, to see how we can help articulate, amplify, and disseminate anti-racist thought and activities.

This is your Humanities Institute too. If there are activities, programs, collaborations, research lines, and community issues you would like to see featured at the institute, or blind spots you would like to see addressed, do not hesitate to bring them to our attention.

Racism is systemic, and we must all play a role in pushing for systemic change. Let’s act up, both individually and collectively to end racism on our campus, within our communities and in our society more broadly.

We support SBU campus-wide efforts to address this situation:

Statement from Africana Studies

Statement from SUNY Stony Brook UUP West Chapter Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee                  

Statement from Latin American & Caribbean Studies

Statement from History Department

Statement from Maurie McInnis and Michael Bernstein on the Tragic Death of George Floyd


Adrián Pérez Melgosa, Executive Director

Adrienne C. Unger, Program Coordinator


The Humanities Institute at Stony Brook Advisory Board:

Jennifer Anderson, Department of History

Simone Brioni, Department of English

Amy Cook, Department of English

Crystal Fleming, Department of Sociology

Andrew Flescher, Program in Public Health

Giuseppe Gazzola, Department of European Languages and Literatures

Shimelis Gulema, Africana Studies Program

Sohl Lee, Department of Art

Ryan Minor, Department of Music

Liz Montegary, Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies

Nikolaos Panou, Department of English

Joseph Pierce, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature

Andrew Platt, Department of Philosophy

Michael Rubenstein, Department of English

Susan Scheckel, Department of English

Tracey Walters, Africana Studies Program

Correction: Earlier versions of this message incorrectly spelled Breonna Taylor''s first name as "Breanna" and Tony McDade as "Toni". We apologize for these errors.

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