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Massachusetts Society of Professors

The Union of Faculty and Librarians at UMass Amherst

Working for Racial Justice- MSP Statement

The MSP Executive Committee has released a statement on our union's committment to racial justice.

We join you in grieving the murder of George Floyd and the many other Black victims of police brutality. At the same time, we are inspired to witness the mass mobilizations of peaceful demonstrators who are calling for profound and lasting change. MSP activists are participating actively in anti-racism work alongside K-12 teachers in the Massachusetts Teachers Association and with our sisters and brothers in the diverse unions represented in the Western Mass Area Labor Federation. Please let us know if you are interested in participating in such union-led anti-racism efforts.

As we mourn and organize, we are deeply aware of the exceptional toll that these events take on our Black colleagues and students. We recognize that when acts of hate occur in our society, and especially when they occur on our campus, the burden falls disproportionately on faculty and librarians of color to comfort students, create forums, and coordinate our institutional response. This pressure compounds the experience of systemic racism and places unreasonable obstacles in the way of their professional and personal fulfillment. We must find ways to ensure the leadership of faculty and librarians who are Black, indigenous, and people of color, while spreading the burdens of dismantling white supremacy more equitably among all members of our community.

On campus, we will continue to pursue racial and gender equity as a top priority in contract bargaining. We will also advocate with new energy for systems that recognize the labor required from faculty and librarians to address systemic racism, ensuring that our colleagues of color in particular are compensated for this labor and that our white colleagues are mobilized to take a larger share of the responsibility. Together, we will continue to fight for justice on our campus and across our country.

In solidarity,

The MSP Executive Committee