Statement Against Anti-Black Oppression
The Loyola University Maryland Writing Department stands with members of the Black community as they mourn and protest the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. We grieve with you. To our dismay, their violent deaths at the hands of current and former police officers are not aberrations, but part of larger patterns of anti-Black violence and oppression in the United States. Indeed, it has only been five years since Freddie Gray was fatally injured while in Baltimore Police custody, sparking an uprising that rightly shook our city. These patterns are the result of a centuries-long project in which American society has been structured to privilege the White few at the expense of Black and other people of color.
As writers and rhetoricians, we are well equipped to see the ways that anti-Black structures are created and maintained through language: how events are framed, which narratives prevail, whose words are heard and respected. As a department, we commit to identifying, and helping our students identify, language choices, patterns, and ideologies that perpetuate anti-Black oppression. We also commit to employing our academic and creative expertise to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy racist and white supremacist systems. Specifically, we commit to teaching courses that robustly include and even center Black voices, perspectives, and experiences, to furnishing students with the linguistic tools they need to construct a more just and equitable society for all, and to restructuring our spaces—classrooms, offices, the Writing Center, events—such that they affirm the dignity of Black people. In making these commitments, we ask that students, alumni, and friends of the department hold us accountable.
The Loyola Writing Department
The writing department at Loyola offers one of the very few undergraduate writing majors in the country. Rather than learning how to write within the structures of a single discipline, our students can explore, study, and practice a wide variety of forms including rhetoric, professional writing, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction prose.
Maryland Hall 043
Loyola University Maryland
4501 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, Md. 21210
The Loyola Writing Center
Run by the writing department but open to all Loyola students, the Writing Center offers assistance to students who need help in all stages of writing – brainstorming, organizing, and revising. The Writing Center also offers students an opportunity to begin learning how to teach writing as consultants. Visit the Writing Center page for more information.