Our mission as a department is to enable our faculty and our students to participate in an increasingly interdependent world and to foster solidarity and an ever-more representative leadership for the future. The Department of American Studies believes that intellectual, cultural, and social advancement develop as we hear new voices that shape our understanding. We believe that the quality of these advancements is strengthened and improved by learning from people with diverse experiences of the world in all forms and intersections, including age, culture, race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, nationality, religious and spiritual belief, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic status.

We aim to foster a community that recognizes diversity to be a self-conscious set of practices that value difference and make every individual feel welcome, supported, and safe: a community in which each person is asked to freely express and openly listen to each piece of wisdom that the other brings to our continuing dialogue. We believe that maintaining respect and pursuing the hard work of understanding difference creates strength and possibility. We believe that we must all work to ensure that each of us lives in dignity. This diverse and active community must be subtended by a mutual respect for academic freedom; it is the hallmark of intellectual work and we strive to foster an environment where the free exchange of ideas, and the public space in which to hear them, is integral to our practice of diversity and inclusion. We are working to become a community more representative of the city, state, and country in which we live. This work is central to valuing diversity, a concept built on ideals of integrity, respect, peace, and equality.

Faculty statement opposing House Bill 2