Statement from the Feminist Studies Department

The UCSB Department of Feminist Studies is committed to recognizing the strength of collective struggle and the deep pain of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, settler colonialism, state violence and other forms of oppression. This particular moment has highlighted the ongoing struggle against anti-Black racism that precipitates the vulnerability to premature death for Black people. We stand with those who fight against structural racism, state-sponsored terror and lethal force leveled at Black people every day. We stand with the families, friends, and communities of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and the countless other Black people, some of whose names we have known throughout the years, killed by the state and forces acting with state sanction.


While mourning the murder of George Floyd, we also call attention to the lives and deaths of Black women (regardless of sex assigned at birth) who have been brutalized and/or died at the hand of the state. It was only recently that these victims of state violence have been acknowledged at all. The confluence of racism, misogyny and transphobia have erased their experiences for too long. We acknowledge the Say Her Name Movement for bringing these names to the forefront. Now is a time to remember Breonna Taylor and demand that her killers be brought to justice.


The anger and the hurt that we see exploding around the country means that accumulated harms are exacerbating ongoing structural inequalities. Black, indigenous, and other people of color, queer and non-binary people, economically marginalized people, and poor women are most severely impacted by institutionalized white supremacy, police violence, Covid-19 and responses to it, stay-at-home orders, and record-high unemployment rates. In this moment of crisis, we share in the anger and grief that our students express. 


We support the statement by the Department of Black Studies on Anti-Blackness and Protest, the Black Lives Matter and Juneteeth Santa Barbara demands for community social justice, and the movement for the University of California and other campuses to divest from police. We affirm our commitment to fight systemic racism and other forms of oppression and to work collaboratively to build the more just world that we all deserve.