Skip to main content

Diversity and Inclusion

Department Public Statement

Sociological scholarship has identified the pernicious effects of anti-Black racism and other forms of racial and ethnic discrimination, which also intersect with gender, class, and other marginalized identities to affect peoples’ lives (Bonilla-Silva, 2006; Collins, 1990, Gonzalez 2019). Although W.E.B. Du Bois (1903) identified “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line,” it is clear that this problem continues today. Racial and ethnic discrimination produces systems of inequality with wide-ranging effects on incarceration (Pettit & Western, 2004), police violence (Edwards, Lee, and Esposito, 2019), patterns of health and illness (Williams, 2012), employment opportunities (Pager et al., 2009; Royster, 2003), educational opportunities (Reardon, Kalogrides, & Shores, 2019; Shedd, 2015), stress and mental health (Brown, 2003), the patterning of family grief (Umberson, 2017), and numerous other outcomes for individual and societal well-being. The breadth and depth of sociological scholarship on these issues provides empirical evidence that the harms of racism and discrimination extend beyond interpersonal interactions to the systems and institutions that govern how society functions.

The Purdue Sociology Department condemns all forms of racism and discrimination, including the repeated police violence against unarmed Black people. We recognize the contributions of institutional racism, including those within higher education, to the accumulation of disadvantage within Black communities. We support those working towards racial justice and against discrimination in American society and beyond. However, we acknowledge that we have fallen short sometimes and are working to improve and institutionalize better supports for scholars of color to thrive. The Sociology Department will advocate for our students, especially our students of color, who are pursuing education with hopes for a more equitable future. We encourage our students and members of our department to take active steps to consider their own socialization and their own privileges in working towards the goal of dismantling systems of inequality. We recognize that dismantling anti-Black racism is an ongoing process and the Sociology department is committed to ensuring that all our members - students, faculty, staff - have the necessary support, awareness, and resources to engage in this process.