Journalism Department Statement on #ScholarStrike Sept. 8-9, 2020
The Journalism Department strongly supports the #ScholarStrike scheduled for Sept. 8-9, 2020. These two days of political action and teach-ins have been organized by faculty and students around the country to call attention to systemic racism and police brutality of Black people and other people of color.
This action is inspired by the WNBA, MLB and NBA players who walked out in recent weeks in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and other acts of police violence against people of color.
We recognize that many members of the Journalism Department community--as well as other SFSU faculty, students and staff--have been deeply impacted by white supremacy, institutional racism, and violence against communities of color. We see this as a time to honor those members of our community and to take a stand against systemic racism in our society and in our profession.
There are many ways to participate in these two days of political action and teaching and to show support for the Black Lives Matter protests against police violence, racism, and white supremacy.
As members of the California Faculty Association, SFSU faculty are under contract and work under “no-strike” clauses. Some faculty may choose to take personal time off to participate in these days of social justice advocacy. Others will teach their classes but step away from other administrative and advising duties. Many will discuss these issues in our virtual classrooms this week.
Students may choose to participate in the days of action, and our faculty support their efforts.
You can read more about the genesis of Scholar Strike in a post by organizers Anthea Butler and Kevin Gannon and follow #ScholarStrike on Twitter and Instagram during the days of the event.
We recommend the following materials as you consider how journalism students and educators can discuss and take an active role in the reckoning on racial justice:
- “How are You Going to Meet the Moment: A Call for Journalistic Action” a speech by Martin Reynolds, co-executive director of the Maynard Institute and SFSU journalism alumnus, to the Institute for Nonprofit News on June 16, 2020
- “‘Unarmed Black Man’ doesn’t mean what you think it means,” Poynter Institute
- “College newsrooms challenge an industry’s status quo,” Columbia Journalism Review
- “For BIPOC communities, local news crisis extends beyond major cities,” Columbia Journalism Review
- “How Implicit Bias Works in Journalism,” Nieman Lab
- “Want Diverse Newsrooms? Unions Push for Pay Equity As a Path Forward,” Nieman Lab
- “Two new studies about media and diversity can help newsrooms through their reckoning with racism,” Nieman Lab
- “I continue to have nightmares that I still work there”: Many, many journalists speak out about racism in newsrooms across the country,” Nieman Lab
We look forward to discussing these issues with you this week and in the months to come.
Rachele Kanigel, professor and chair, and the faculty of the Journalism Department