ESO Activism


ESO Statement Against Police Violence | June 8, 2020

The Executive Council of the Emerging Scholars Organization, an affiliate of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, expresses its full support for the nation-wide protests against police violence and systemic racism. We recognize that the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee and others represent the latest tragic moments in a long history of state and extra-legal violence against Black people, while the violent suppression of protests reflects the ongoing devaluation of Black life. We call on our members to teach the full extent of this history to their students, grapple with its implications in their research and service, and commit to fostering a generation of scholars in southern studies who work to rid our discipline, institutions and communities of anti-Blackness.

In the short term, we encourage our members to take concrete steps in the coming days to amplify the work of bail funds and mutual aid efforts in our communities and to support Black-owned businesses. We also affirm our support as a Council for the abolition of police forces on college and university campuses and encourage individual members to join us in signing this Statement  Against State Terror and Call for the Termination of University-Police Relations. Finally, we urge members who are participating in protests to protect their own safety and the safety of other protestors, including exercising your right to film police misconduct ethically and responsibly.

Dismantling white supremacy is the work of southern studies research, teaching, scholarship, and community. We call on everyone in the field to join this ongoing struggle. If you know of any specific resources or causes that the ESO can use its platform to amplify, please get in touch with us at [email protected].

In solidarity,

Garrett Bridger Gilmore, Will Murray, Joshua Ryan Jackson, Delia Byrnes, William Palmer, Elizabeth Gardner, Kristin Teston, and Kelly Vines on behalf of the Emerging Scholars Organization