We, the team at the Center for Media & Social Impact at American University’s School of Communication, express our deep sorrow and unequivocal outrage in response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and so many others – and the abhorrent lack of justice for each of these lives, alongside daily discrimination that causes physical danger and chronic emotional stress and pain for Black people and communities. We recognize and name this violence as a consequence of sanctioned structural racism and white supremacy, systems that are active and alive in the United States. We stand in solidarity with our cherished BIPOC collaborators, colleagues, and friends – creative makers, social justice organizations and leaders, researchers and communicators – and Black and Brown communities across the country who rightfully demand change. We also clearly hear the call for white people and white-led organizations to authentically interrogate our own practices and actively work to dismantle institutional inequities that repeat this pattern over and over again. We affirm this call to fight for racial equity and justice.

As an organization that supports and believes in the power of media and storytelling for social justice and social good – working through our research, creative production, and convenings to uphold this mission – we understand that affirmations alone are not sufficient. Anti-racist practices mean interrogating ourselves and our efforts and committing to undertaking active work toward anti-racism goals. We hear this imperative, and we agree. The Center for Media & Social Impact is firmly committed to social change and social justice, and to leveraging our resources to support the work of Black and POC-led movements, organizations, creative makers, and colleagues.