Carnegie Mellon University


June 03, 2020

ECE's Commitment to Anti-Racism

For many community members, the past few days have been rough. We are shocked and appalled by yet another senseless killing of a black man at the hands of those whose job it is to serve and protect.

And yet, for others in the community these past few days are nothing new. It is 400+ years of history repeating itself, and it is maddening and exhausting to live in a society that systemically and violently oppresses based on the color of one’s skin.

As a community, we grieve the loss of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless others that we know and don’t know. We stand for justice and we recognize that justice is often overlooked for people of color.

As an educational institution, it is our duty to teach and to learn. We are committed to learning from our Black and African American community members. The ECE department, all of its faculty and staff, and in particular the Diversity, Inclusion, and Outreach Committee welcomes feedback, advice, and any other resources that can help us provide better support and allyship to people of color. We are also here for anyone who is struggling personally and needs someone to talk to. We will listen and learn.

That being said, we are also committed to teaching ourselves and the community about these matters. We know that it is our responsibility, on both a personal and organizational level, to acknowledge and use our privilege wherever we can.

We recognize that many of our community members have not grown up in the United States and do not know the history of systemic racism that is embedded in our society. Even those who have grown up in the United States will only have a limited understanding, as our educational system looks at our own history with rose-colored glasses.

We would like to take this opportunity to educate ourselves and we strongly encourage all of our community members to do the same. It is not enough to write a statement emphasizing our commitment to diversity and equality. We must be vehemently anti-racist. We must step up and use whatever means we can to support people of color. For some individuals this may mean standing at the front lines and protesting. For others, this may mean donating money to organizations or donating time by calling or writing to our state and federal offices. This may include diversifying the music we listen to, the shows we watch, or the books we read to educate ourselves on perspectives outside of our own.

For us, as a department, it means educating ourselves and our community to be critically thinking, engaged, and thoughtful individuals. To this end, we have compiled a list of resources to support and educate our community. It is not comprehensive, and we welcome any suggestions, but we sincerely hope that you use it as a means to continue engaging in the lifelong process of being anti-racist. As President Farnam recently stated “.... I know that it is up to each one of us — no matter our background — to confront and dismantle racism and injustice wherever they exist..”

  • 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix
  • American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
  • The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 — Available to rent
  • Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
  • Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
  • Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
  • I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
  • Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
  • King In The Wilderness — HBO
  • See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
  • Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
  • The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
  • When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix