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The Society for the Study of Social Problems [SSSP] began as a group of sociologists who believed that a professional organization could both support the activist work of its members as well as be more engaged in the research and action necessary to address social problems and fight for social justice.  Two of the major issues the organization set its sights on was the issue of racial inequality and the academic freedom of its membership. It is in this spirit that the SSSP issues this statement of support to the two-day strike of college faculty currently being organized by Dr. Anthea Butler of the University of Pennsylvania and Dr. Kevin Gannon of Grand View University under the hashtag #ScholarStrike.

The strike organizers have issued the following statement:

Given the recent events of police brutality, most recently the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha Wi, and the murders of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, and many other police shootings during the summer of 2020--an intensification of the trend we’ve seen in recent years--we can no longer sit quietly amidst state violence against communities of color.

We believe that it’s of crucial importance for those of us in higher education to take a stand in solidarity with our students and the communities we serve. We also see the need to affirm protestors, workers for social justice, and activists who are crucial parts of making our communities better places. To that end, we propose a General Strike (for those who are working Union contracts, working to the clock) for 48 hours, to take place immediately after Labor Day, on September 8-9. We believe that it is long past time for us to make a collective stand against police violence (particularly against communities of color) in the United States. We will refrain from teaching and all administrative duties for this entire 48 hour period. We will use this time as a public teach-in about police brutality and violence in our communities from both historical and contemporary perspectives. We plan to use our social media platforms and all other venues available to us to get the message out.

We support this statement and would support all faculty (but particularly our own membership) who take part in this labor action and teach-in. Actions such as these demonstrate the power of workers and the power of educators who are prepared and willing to address this very significant social problem. Police brutality and the militarization of policing—especially as they terrorize communities of color—must end.

Posted Tuesday, 09/08/2020, 11:54 AM - Comments - Category: Member News