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The faculty and staff of the Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia at McMaster University condemn the deaths of Regis Korchinski-Paquet, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and many others who have died in similar ways but whose names have not made international headlines. We stand against all state violence and vigilante violence against Black people in the United States, Canada, and throughout the world.

We acknowledge that white supremacy is a structure of power that has been constituted in North America by the transatlantic slave trade and on-going structural anti-Blackness, alongside settler colonialism and ongoing Indigenous dispossession. These most recent incidents are part of a long history of violence and discrimination directed at Black people. We express our rage, our grief, and we reaffirm our commitment to disrupting and dismantling these systems through our teaching, research, art, activism, and student mentorship. We stand with all our Black students and colleagues in affirming Black lives matter.

To our students who are experiencing trauma, rage, confusion, anxiety, and uncertainty, know that we see you and we are thinking of you. We are here to support you. As students and scholars of media, you know the power of the media to shape narratives, its history of promoting and reproducing anti-Black stereotypes, and its power to unite struggles across difference and across borders.Hope lives in the struggle for freedom and justice – and there is a place for all of us in it. Multiracial solidarity for racial justice and inclusive freedom has the power to upend the systems architected to keep us divided. Let us all find ways to honor and build on this legacy.

The centuries-long struggle for Black freedom, and the racist violence it resists, is often represented in Canada as a U.S. issue. In the words of activist-scholar Robyn Maynard, “The long history of anti-blackness in Canada has, for the most part, occurred alongside the disavowal of its existence.” As educators, administrators, researchers and artists, we are committed to challenging inequality in our communities and beyond, working toward decolonization, and embracing inclusion. We pledge to work toward equity and positive social change.

In solidarity, resolve, and the freedom dreams that bring new futures,

Christina Baade
Sara Bannerman
Lorraine Bell
Lyndsey Beutin
Terry Flynn
Paula Gardner
Robert Hamilton
Faiza Hirji
Margey Lam
Andrew Mactavish
Dilyana Mincheva
Selina Mudavanhu
Chris Myhr
David Ogborn
Liss Platt
Christine Quail
Philip Savage
Alex Sevigny
David Harris Smith
Janice Vital
Cassandra Weimann