I am writing to you with a message of interracial solidarity on this day of Juneteenth, a US holiday that celebrates the liberation of Black Americans from the brutal institution of slavery.
Although this day is a reminder of the potential for social transformation, we know that we have a long way to go if we are to end the systemic violence perpetuated against Black people around the world.
Black Lives Matter.
The struggle for racial justice is not limited to the protests currently occurring in US cities, but it also is happening within the academy, where Black, Brown and Global South sociologists remain underrepresented and their bodies of knowledge undervalued.
To demonstrate solidarity with our Black and Brown colleagues at a potentially pivotal moment in US history, the SOC DEV Council has unanimously agreed to donate the $1,600 we had budgeted for the ASA 2020 reception to the ASA Minority Fellowship Program. This program provides training and support to junior sociologists of color. For more information, visit their webpage: https://www.asanet.org/careers/grants-and-fellowships/minority-fellowship-program.
We are joining 37 ASA sections who already have committed to donating their reception funds to the MFP. Indeed, 50 out of the ASA’s 52 sections are considering donating, making this an ASA-wide movement in support of racial justice. It is my sincere hope that with such a critical mass of interracial support, more systemic change may become possible.
When the SOC DEV Council meets this August, we will be discussing strategies for supporting Black development scholarship as well as our Black, Brown, and Global South section members, on a more permanent basis. If you have any ideas you would like to share, or if you would like to volunteer your time to this effort, please feel free to email me personally at Jennifer.Keahey@asu.edu. I will share any emails that I receive with Council in August.
If you would like to do more to support Black and Brown junior sociologists in the US, you may donate individually to the ASA Minority Fellowship Program here: https://www.asanet.org/donate.
Finally, I would like to take a moment to personally thank our incoming Council Member, Shiri Noy, for approaching me with the idea of making a donation.