We see our department as a force for change in the world—change which strives to achieve intellectual freedom, social justice and equality for all people.
We strive for positive change in the world by providing an outstanding education in women, gender and sexuality studies studies through excellent teaching, engaged mentoring, pathbreaking research and scholarship and dedicated community service.
We seek to develop a new generation of scholars and leaders who, with us, will work to acknowledge, understand and critically interrogate human differences such as those of gender, race, class, sexuality, nationality, ability, ethnicity and religion so that difference may be respected, accommodated and celebrated in social life and so that we may advance knowledge about the possibilities for equality and freedom for all.
We trust that we can indeed make the world better through the knowledge we produce, the minds we nurture and the change we effect around us.
We seek daily to become an even more welcoming physical, material and intellectual space that invites people in and encourages them to stay, talk, explore, brainstorm, share, build, develop and grow.
Department Statement on Justice
As a department, we remind ourselves that our unit resides in a public land-grant institution. We remind ourselves that such a location is one whose history, in principle, has aimed to provide educational access as an avenue of social change. We remind ourselves that our department’s mission is one that is rooted in an unwavering commitment to “intellectual freedom, social justice and equality for all people.” We remind ourselves of the words of Audre Lorde who tells us that, “It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”
In light of these remembrances and the ongoing political tumult that characterizes this political moment, we, the members of the Harriet Tubman Department of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, reaffirm our commitment to the following principles of justice:
- We oppose any policy or law that enables the oppression of any individuals or groups.
- We strongly condemn all instances/assertions of trans/homophobia, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
- We reaffirm the importance of framing policies, ideas and laws grounded in fact, reason and justice.
- We privilege scientific approaches when grappling with the complexity of environmental degradation.
- We reassert the need for compassion for those fleeing harm and economic vulnerability.
- We reject all reassertions of nationalist, imperialist and xenophobic modes of thought.
- We commit to building a fear-free, inclusive space where students can thrive at our university. We invite you to approach us if you have questions or concerns. We will work to preserve your privacy and use our resources to help you find answers or direct you to the appropriate resources.