Statement by the Africana Studies Dept. Regarding Faculty Layoffs and Health and Safety Concerns for Reopening the Campus in a Time of Covid-19

Note: this is a collective statement issued by the Africana Studies Department that we are reposting here. We encourage you to take the same initiative with your respective departments. Please contact us at umb.cdu at gmail dot com if you’d like your departmental statement to be posted here as well.

The Covid-19 Global Pandemic impact has been one of devastation and disorientation for members of our learning, teaching, and research community. The long range impact is unimaginable, but we must be resilient, persevere, and uphold our core values of solidarity, justice, and compassion! 

As the University contemplates how to navigate this national and international crisis, the Africana Studies Department believes two core principles need to guide how and in what ways we move forward as a community:

After the administration leadership has acknowledged the tremendous work done by faculty and staff to transition our campus to remote learning, we find it hypocritical and unconscionable to lay off the very Associate Lecturers and Lecturers who undertook this Herculean task and made this transition, and its successes, possible! We find this to be a cruel and thankless way of addressing our present situation. Indeed, laying off workers only expands the current economic crisis caused by this pandemic. 

The administration must provide Safety and Protection for all workers and students if the University returns to campus in the Fall 2020 and must therefore meet the American College of Health Association (ACHA) guidelines

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