There is an ambivalence, even heartbreak, in writing solidarity statements. Because they are so often used as “cover,” in the sense of business as usual or risk management, and because our banks, mobile phone providers, and the university itself has hijacked its language, branding affiliations. And yet to seek out and provide for solidarity and communion is essential. It is essential to our work as teachers and students, researchers and intellectuals, activists and organizers, pessimists and dreamers.
The Global Emergent Media Lab is committed to Black communities and anti-racist movements and to combatting ongoing colonial violence, police brutality, racial capitalism, and white supremacy. We believe in the work of scholars, activists, and organizers and in their demand to examine and to end white supremacy in its systemic, institutional, and everyday forms. We join communities all over the world in mourning and seeking justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Nina Pop, Ahmaud Arbery, D’Andre Campbell, Abdirahman Abdi, Andrew Loku, Regis Korchinski-Paquet, and Samwel Uko, and many others whose names have been actively erased.
In the coming years, we will work to engage more openly in public protest, mutual aid, community organizing, radical education, and abolitionist movements. This includes the critical need to interrogate white supremacy within our own work places, teaching, disciplines, and institutions. The GEM Lab is committed to developing resources and spaces to examine racial and ethnic inequality and to supporting communities suffering the effects of systemic racial injustice. We will begin this work immediately by supporting a series of seminars, workshops and lectures focused on racial inequality and violence, historical and present, in a global context; by supporting student-led initiatives (including research and programming funds); by supporting ongoing and new collaborations with students, colleagues and communities working in Black studies, Indigenous studies, among other critical formations for countering racial oppression. Finally, we call on Concordia University to redirect financial, human and infrastructural support for Black students, staff, and faculty, for programs and coursework, for recruitment and funding, and for hiring Black staff, researchers and teachers.