LTE: An alternative letter of solidarity

In response to Jeff Rice’s op-ed,

Letters of solidarity from departments and programs are again circulating amongst faculty and administrators on campus. These letters have provided important touchpoints between faculty, students, and our community during extraordinary moments that shine light into the darkness of the times and illuminate the truths of our past. They can provide a crack in the deafening silence of faculty to extend our support to those in our community most impacted by and vulnerable to the everyday struggles of racial and gender-based violence. These letters have the potential to catalyze momentum for real change and action during would-be watershed moments in society.

Today, we offer an alternative letter of solidarity. We offer an alternative so that we can fully stand in solidarity with our colleagues, students, and friends facing outrageous attacks and threats. We fully stand in solidarity. We offer an alternative to fully commit to taking specific actions. We commit to pushing our colleagues to join us and take meaningful, impactful action. We commit to pursuing the carefully constructed pathways towards change that so many of our colleagues have pushed for this past year. We commit to holding ourselves, our colleagues, and the administration accountable for our nonaction. We commit to doing better.  

We write this letter of solidarity not only to reflect on the outrageous attacks on our colleagues, but also to commit to working within our programs and departments to build widely inclusive practices that center critical voices for change. We commit to developing systems of accountability so that we can hold each other accountable. We commit to not adding this burden onto the too heavy burdens of those already confronting injustice on a daily basis. We commit to doing the work so that we can collectively move towards more just futures. This is hard work and it is our responsibility to take it on. We commit to doing this, no matter the cost. We commit to breaking down the status quo.

— NU Professors for Justice

This letter is written by faculty at Northwestern who chose to remain anonymous as an act of decentering themselves. If you would like to respond publicly to this op-ed, send a Letter to the Editor to [email protected]. The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of all staff members of The Daily Northwestern.