Dear friends and colleagues,
The Department of History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is committed to studying the complex histories of human encounters. We study these histories through a variety of lenses, understanding that categories of race and difference have created unequal power relations at historically specific moments across time and space. We also believe that, on top of our scholarly endeavors, our academic responsibility includes an effort to acknowledge and rectify racial and social inequities within our own community, for we believe that intellectual excellence only resides in a structure of empowerment. Particularly, in light of historical and ongoing patterns of exclusion, subjugation, and violence, and in acknowledgment of a nationwide pattern of declining enrollment of numbers of students of color in higher education, the Department affirms its intention to actively recruit and retain students and faculty of color. This commitment moves beyond a desire for inclusivity. We strive to create a vibrant learning environment where students and faculty can critically examine, research, and challenge the ways race, ethnicity, gender, sexualities, class, and ability have shaped people's lives. In so doing, our Department will be better equipped not only to interpret the world but to change it.
Signed by the Department of History Faculty