We at the KU Department of Religious Studies are appalled by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and many other innocent Black people in the United States. We reject the historical, systemic and ingrained racism that the deaths of these individuals and many more represent. Black Lives Matter. We recognize the grief and rage that people of color are experiencing in this moment, particularly that of our students and colleagues. We see and hear you, and we support the worldwide protest movement.
As scholars of religion, we have a special commitment to understanding and celebrating the diversity of the human community. We reject racial, religious, ethnic, and gender-based violence, discrimination, and micro-aggression, as well as police violence. Our joint statement reflects our individual commitments to stand with all those who are calling out for honest discussion and profound change, both on our campus and across the globe.
The professional societies to which many of us belong have issued their own statements on recent events as well:
American Academy of Religion, Statement on Racism and George Floyd Murder
Society of Biblical Literature, A Statement on Right to Protest, Black Lives Matter, and Bible as Prop