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Statement on Post-election Climate

Department of African American Studies statement on post-election climate

Our Post-election Position

As the Department of African American Studies, we feel it is imperative to respond to the wave of physical and verbal attacks since the November presidential election. To a degree not seen since 9/11, there has been a dramatic increase in violence against racial, ethnic and religious minorities, on LGBTQI people, as well as verbal and physical assaults on women of all backgrounds nationwide, including this campus.  While these incidents are unacceptable, they are not unfamiliar amid the ongoing persecution and murders of trans-people, particularly those of color, and the epidemic of sexual violence that still plagues us.  In keeping with African American Studies’ long history of advocacy for and research on marginalized communities, we stand resolutely opposed to any and all physical, verbal and cyber attacks on individuals or groups based on their race, religion, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status, or ability.

The Department of African American Studies is a resource for any student, regardless of his or her major or minor, who faces threats, intimidation, harassment, violence, or vulnerability.  In African American Studies, you will find an open door and an advocate.  Throughout our history, African American and African diasporic peoples have experienced discrimination, violence, and terror, but they have always been strengthened by the deep history of resistance to that oppression.  As the great freedom fighter Ella Baker told us, “Freedom is a constant struggle.” Our discipline’s history is rooted in the struggle against denigration, intimidation, harassment, and worse, and in the unconditional affirmation of black lives mattering. You are being heard, and you will continue to be heard.

If you are experiencing bias on this campus, please report it at:

Department of African American Studies, The Pennsylvania State University
133 Willard Building, University Park, PA 16802
Ph: 814-863-4243 | Fax: 814-863-3578