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We scholars of Russian, Ukrainian and Eastern European languages, cultures and literatures are all too well-acquainted with practices of oppression and intimidation coming from unjust governments and figures of authority. The past and present of the places we study, work, and sometimes live in have taught us the crucial value of human rights and human dignity, and the horrors and indignities of the police state.
Recent events compel us to make a strong statement of understanding and support for everyone fighting for racial equality. We condemn individual racism, as well as the abuse of institutional authority to support it, and we condemn police brutality and violence of any kind. We insist on the freedom of peaceful assembly and on the freedom of speech.
The ranks of Russian scholars and students have historically not included many people of color, particularly Black Americans. In this regard, we pledge to examine and alter practices and attitudes within our department and field that perpetuate this systemic racism. We acknowledge the great strength that comes from diversity and pledge to defend, cultivate, and celebrate its many forms in our teaching, community-building, and research activities. The Dartmouth Russian Department is committed to solidarity with underrepresented colleagues and students as well as to creating an inclusive and welcoming environment.