Statement on Antiracism

The following statement was sent by email from the committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion to the department on August 20, 2020.

The members of the Yale Linguistics Department’s committee on diversity, equity, and inclusion condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other members of the Black community and commit ourselves to stand in solidarity to work for racial justice. We endorse the statement on racial justice issued by the Linguistic Society of America, which includes several specific strategies for anti-racist efforts.

We acknowledge that racism is systemic and permeates every aspect of our society, including academic institutions and academic fields like our own. We take responsibility for enacting change within our individual and collective spheres of influence. As a first step, this working group will construct a plan to guide current and future actions to combat racism and inequality within our department, field, university, and community. We focus on the following four areas:

  1. Engagement around questions of climate, inclusion, and belonging within the department;
  2. Engagement with antiracist scholarship, methods, and perspectives in our teaching, research, and departmental structures;
  3. Further education of ourselves around antiracism and activism within linguistics, language, and the social sciences;
  4. Concrete plans for ongoing future development, review, and accountability.

Signed, the members of the committe on diversity, equity, and inclusion:

Claire Bowern (Professor)
Veneeta Dayal (Professor)
Sarah Babinski (Graduate student)
Jeremy Johns (Graduate student)
Randi Martinez (Graduate student)
Catarina Soares (Graduate student)
Evan Hochstein (Undergraduate student)
Jack Sullivan (Undergraduate student)
Kento Tanaka (BA Alum, 2020)