We, the Department of Criminal Justice at Temple University, are outraged and dismayed by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the countless others who have died before them and after them, at the hands of law enforcement and others acting in purported support of law and order. As members of a diverse and eclectic community of scholars of criminology and criminal justice, we join together to emphatically condemn racial oppression and demand that the killing and violence end immediately. The list of names should not, cannot, grow longer.

In our work as teachers, researchers, and activists, we occupy a privileged position to educate the next generation of socially and racially conscious criminal justice professionals and to guide police, practice and reforms that promote social and racial justice. We strive to use this privilege carefully and wisely. As scholars, we pursue evidence-based contributions to justice reform. These are often at a granular level where substantive improvements can serve as building blocks to broader social change. These contributions go hand in hand with, indeed are driven by the vision for a more just and equitable society for all marginalized communities. No matter what form our scholarship takes, no matter what our sub-specialty within the discipline, we must continue to strive to dismantle barriers to including all voices in our work, most of all those of marginalized scholars and members of impacted communities, indeed all members of our academic community, as we pursue our mutual endeavor of eliminating systems of inequality.

The Criminal Justice Department is a diverse and eclectic collective of faculty of different races, nationalities, spiritual foundations, gender and sexual identities and disciplinary background, each with unique experiences of vulnerabilities and inequalities of different forms. We must use this diversity as a pillar for building trust as well as a sense of community in the highest sense of the term. We have already begun conversations around concrete actions we can take to emphasize and enhance our understanding of the role of race in society and in the criminal justice system, as well as to explore our paths forward, in this time of turmoil as criminal justice scholars, students and professionals who strive to effectuate meaningful and lasting systemic change. As our action plan coalesces over the coming weeks, we will continue to keep all members of our academic community informed and we encourage faculty, staff, students and alumni to share their suggestions with us. Contact any faculty member or email us at Crimjust@temple.edu. We are here to listen and support all present, past and future members of our academic community.

The events of the past days have been dismaying to all of us. We are committed to advancing racial equality and achieving a more just society. In this spirit, we must move forward together, to achieve our common goals of dismantling structural racism, inequality, and other systems of injustice. 


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