Anti-Racism Statement

We, the College of Charleston Department of Sociology and Anthropology, condemn the physical and structural violence perpetrated against Black, Indigenous, and other people of color (BIPOC) by the systems and structures of white supremacy in our country. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement. The experience of racism is not new; for centuries, BIPOC have bravely relayed their stories of oppression, often to doubt and criticism. However, the recent availability of cellphone cameras and video that capture and starkly illustrate the violent injustices exerted on BIPOC bodies and lives, and the recent resurgence of unchecked, overt public expressions of racial and ethnic prejudices, have finally forced the American and global public to acknowledge and reckon with the reality of white supremacist violence in policing and the underlying racist structure of our civic institutions. The American history of race is deeply interwoven with the history of Charleston, South Carolina. Over 60% of captured and enslaved Africans were funneled through Charleston slave markets, and the city’s and region’s post-Emancipation history is heavy with Jim Crow oppression, segregation, and gentrification. The horrific 2015 Emanuel AME Church massacre, occurring just blocks from our campus, and the continued reports of police brutality are an extension of this foundational history. Racism is more than disliking people because of their shared racial and/or cultural identity and it is more than offensive/unkind words and individual actions. Racism is a social structure that includes laws, norms, policies and practices that favor or give advantages to the dominant group(s) and creates obstacles and barriers to other groups. Racist ideology justifies, supports and perpetuates a racist society. But just as racist structures have been invented and perpetuated by cultural institutions, so too can they be dismantled. Diversity, inclusion, and a commitment to recognize and eliminate racism is a priority for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and they enhance students’ education. Through this education, Anthropology and Sociology students can learn the skills and knowledge needed to actively deconstruct racist systems and build stronger, more inclusive and equitable societies. Forthcoming and Ongoing Department Actions: · Research in the fields of Sociology and Anthropology has contributed substantially to our understanding of the social construction of race, as well as the economic, civic, biological, and personal impacts of structural racism. We are committed to drawing upon this expertise to enact change in our programs, department, and the college. Toward that end, we support the proposal and development of a college-wide Race, Ethnicity, and Inclusion requirement. Within our department, we already have courses that would fulfill this requirement, and we are developing new courses devoted to teaching about racism, race and ethnic inequality, and detrimental impacts of racist ideology. · In addition to this new course, we are also committed to further developing an inclusive, ‘decolonized’ curriculum that centers the voices (and experiences) of BIPOC scholars and communities. · We are committed to recruiting, retaining and graduating majors and minors who are diverse in race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, and social class background. To this end, we will actively work to develop recruitment plans to better reach and engage incoming students and faculty from diverse backgrounds and to provide greater, and more focused academic support for all students.


American Anthropology Association’s Anti-BIPOC Racism

American Association of Physical Anthropologists’  Statement on Race and Racism

American Sociological Association Condemns Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System 

Society for the Study of Social Problems’ End Racism Statement