History Diversity and Inclusion statement

June 15, 2020

Protesters in front of confederate statue in Richmond, VA

We, the VCU History Department, support the efforts of our students, the university, and the community to root out the systemic racism present in our nation both in the past and in the present. Situated in the city of Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy and a city with a large African American community, we believe it is our responsibility to encourage progression toward a more equitable society. The worth of black lives should not be disregarded, and as members of a diverse academic institution we cannot be silent. To be silent during this moment would be to ignore the literal and figurative suffocating of black Americans and communities of color. Our department, our city, our nation, and our profession demand change and challenge our society to tackle the racial injustices that permeate black lives. To this end, we fully support the American Historical Association’s statement condemning and historicizing structural racism in the U.S. (linked below). Further, we as a department, have recently formed a Diversity Committee composed of diverse faculty to recommend systemic changes to our departmental practices and structures in order to enhance equity and inclusion for populations historically overlooked.

AHA Statement on the History of Racist Violence in the United States