In June 2020, during the peak of that summer's Black Lives Matter protests across the nation, UNT anthropology students and alumni wrote an open letter to the faculty listing steps to move beyond sentiment and into material action in our own academic space. Open Letter from #AnthrosForEquity.
The faculty and staff are grateful for the call to action. We agree on the need to directly address issues of race and racial inequality in our departmental processes of recruitment, teaching, research, and mentoring. We commit to expanding our efforts to be more deliberate about doing anti-racist work in our department and university and being more intentional in supporting BIPOC students, staff, and faculty. We acknowledge that our response serves as the start of a much longer, ongoing conversation. With the goal of facilitating actions towards a community based in equity, we will seek to foster conditions for open and honest dialogue to help us learn what students are experiencing and observing. The 2020 response from faculty.
2023 update: With the passing of the Texas State Legislature Senate Bill 17, which prohibits public institutions of higher education from maintaining diversity, equity, and inclusion offices and related activities, the Department of Anthropology continues our work within the limits of the law.
Click on an Action Step for updates, resources, and links.
- Lobby for defunding the university police and to create alternatives to policing on campus.
- Lobby the UNT Administration to declare UNT a Freedom City.
- Improve the hiring and recruiting process of faculty candidates.
- Support current BIPOC faculty equitably.
- Recruitment and Retention of BIPOC students.
- Provide anti-racist training.
- Intentional conversations around race and racism.
- Proactively support BIPOC students.
- Revise theory and syllabi.
- Invite BIPOC speakers.
- Build partnerships with BIPOC owned organizations.
- Formalize the reporting of racism and other inappropriate behavior by faculty members and students.
- Collect feedback about the student experience and satisfaction with the department and its program. Include students in the department's strategic planning.