Fordham Faculty Against Racism: Petition and Call to Action
We, the undersigned Fordham University faculty, call upon the administration to take immediate and sustained action to extend racial justice and fight racism on all of our campuses. More specifically, we extend our support for the action items outlined recently by The Black Student Alliance (ASILI) and endorsed by ASILI’s peer student organizations, as well as the requests for immediate action expressed by students and alumni through social media and other avenues. In addition, we support The Call to Action for Catholic University Communities, which was co-written by Fordham’s Dr. Amir Idris and other chairs/directors/faculty leaders of African American/Africana Studies units at Catholic Universities and Colleges across the U.S. We add our voices to these calls to action and implore Fordham University’s administration to work with all constituencies—students, alumni, staff, and faculty—to take concrete steps to create a culture of racial justice.
The faculty acknowledge that we, too, particularly those of us who do not identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC), have not always fulfilled our mission to end racism at Fordham. We must hold ourselves accountable. We therefore commit, within our respective programs, departments/divisions, schools, and campuses to:
Engage in our own critical self-reflection—through intersectional antiracism trainings, personal and academic explorations, and other methodologies—to inform our commitments to a version of anti-racism that centers the interlocking nature of systems of oppression (Crenshaw, 1989)
Formally and systematically infuse curriculum with material and experiences that address racism and anti-Blackness and uplift Black lives, experiences, and voices; and reject implicit and explicit racism
Ensure that we teach in a manner that acknowledges, respects, and addresses the lived experiences of BIPOC Fordham students, including recognizing and interrupting microaggressions
Develop, institutionalize through policy, and implement search committee recruitment, hiring, and retention practices that will increase the number of Black faculty members, as well as other faculty of color, throughout the University and particularly in tenure-track positions
Ensure that our organizational culture, governing documents, and policies are antiracist, inclusive, and empowering to BIPOC communities
Achieve a more representative student body, one that better reflects our neighboring communities as well as the rich diversity of BIPOC lives throughout our country
Continue to build bridges between Fordham and its campus communities through shared educational opportunities and outreach
We call upon the administration to commit the necessary resources to enact the faculty action items listed above; address ASILI's and the African American/African Studies Units’ linked calls for action and change; and fully implement the 2016 recommendations of the University’s Task Force on Diversity and the President’s Diversity Action Plan, as well as the 2015 Faculty Senate Task Force on Gender and Race Equity and Faculty Diversity and Retention. It is time for action - now.