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In the past few months we have confronted the devastation of COVID-19 and the inequalities it has exposed. Like the rest of the world, we have witnessed excessive use of force in policing that disproportionately affects communities of color. We have seen efforts to quash peaceful protests. We are also experiencing efforts to cut public education in New York City, despite the socioeconomically and ethnically diverse communities CUNY serves and the upward social mobility it fosters.
Over the decades we have worked to empower students of color and strived to fight injustice. That is our heritage; it is grounded in the legacy of Hortense Powdermaker; the respect for the efforts and martyrdom of our student, Andrew Goodman, a civil rights worker who was murdered in Mississippi in 1964; and the accomplishments of our current alumni and students who represent the diversity of the people we serve but also reflect the educational obstacles presented by persistent inequalities. We will humbly continue to work to live up to the standards set for us, and to demand change.
In her study of race in Mississippi in the 1930s in a community where there were still people who had been born as slaves and slave owners, our founder, Hortense Powdermaker, wrote of the hope that African American interlocutors placed in education: “They looked to education as the great and indispensable foundation of democracy. Education was to fit every citizen for participation in government, and to spread the doctrine that every citizen should be allowed to participate. It was viewed as the gateway to equal opportunity, the threshold of a new and better life” (1939: 299-300).
To achieve that goal, our alumna, Dr. Leith Mullings, encourages us to forge an antiracist anthropology. This means that we must challenge all forms of racism, including current forms that “seek to make the social appear natural and ruthless inequality appear as common sense“ (Mullings 2005, 679).
Based on the actions of Andrew Goodman, we have to ask ourselves, what are we willing to give up to bring about change?
In seeking to foster the hope that Powdermaker documented, pursue the course of action that Dr. Mullings advocates, and respect the legacy of Andrew Goodman, we condemn the following:
1. The use of force, intimidation, and bias in law enforcement that results in people of color being treated differently than their white peers;
2. The persistent inequalities that lead to disproportionate levels of illness and death in communities of color, and the associated public policies that create unequal access to healthcare;
3. The persistent underfunding of public education in one of the richest cities in the world.
|NEWS & UPDATES|
|Still looking for courses to enroll in this fall? Our Fall 2020 course schedule is available and accessible here.
The State of New York wants to layoff large numbers of CUNY staff and faculty because of budget cuts. Now, more than ever, we need your help. For more information on how to help save CUNY click here.
This Spring, the department introduced the Warren DeBoer Memorial Scholarship in memory of Dr. DeBoer, a former QC Anthropology professor. This scholarship is given to the most promising junior student concentrating in archaeology. To learn more about the award or to make a donation in honor of Dr. DeBoer, click here.
Congratulations to all our Spring 2020 recipients of Departmental Awards and Honors! For a complete list of recipients click here. To watch the virtual ceremony, check out the video here: Spring 2020 Awards Ceremony
This year, the department introduced two awards in memory of QC professors, Drs. Warren DeBoer and Edgar Gregersen.
Juan Luis Rodriguez's upcoming book "Language and Revolutionary Magic in the Orinoco Delta" (Bloomsbury Press) on linguistic practices and national politics in rural Venezuela will be available in October 2020. For more information on this book and how to pre-order, click here.
Our 2019 Alumni Newsletter is now available! Read about the exciting and recent accomplishments of the QC Anthro faculty and support our department if you can by making a donation!
Karen Strassler's new book, "Demanding Images" is an account of Indonesia's turbulent democratic transition, as well as an analysis of images in the era of digital media and neoliberal democracy. For more book information, click here.
Are you a QC Anthropology alum who would like share news about your life, career, research and/or family? Please refer to the Anthropology Alumni page for more on how to keep in touch with our department!
Follow QC Anthropology on Facebook: @QCAnthro, and get regular updates on new courses and upcoming events.