Peace History Society Statement in Support of Black Lives Matter and the Work to Undo Racial Injustice and Oppression

As historians and scholars who study the dynamics of peace and justice, we recognize that state-sponsored and extrajudicial violence has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all those currently protesting racist violence in the US and internationally.  As scholars, we remain dedicated to analyzing interlocking systems of violence and seeking solutions that can build enduring peace with justice.

We are committed to promoting anti-racist scholarship, teaching and activism as well as fostering inclusive and open discussions about racial privilege and violence in our organizations and institutions. We remain committed to positive actions that dismantle institutionalized oppression against people of color and other marginalized groups.

Since the May 25 killing of George Floyd and others in Black communities, we have joined our neighbors, our colleagues, and our students to march, protest and demand an end to structural racism, lynching, and police brutality. We abhor the words and deeds of those in the U.S. government who have responded to this popular cry for justice with violence. Federal, state, and local governments have deployed the military, spied on nonviolent demonstrators, and dispersed orderly assemblies with excessive force. Many of these same authorities have ignored white supremacist vigilantes who threaten demonstrators exercising their constitutional rights.

The alarming trends in police violence and militarization, along with extralegal violence, are not limited to the United States. From Hong Kong to Santiago, Moscow to New Delhi, we have witnessed government authorities, police, and militant groups brutally suppressing peaceful protesters. The erosion and violation of human rights anywhere in the world should be the concern of all. The Peace History Society strongly condemns violence, whether by governments or paramilitary organizations, and stands in solidarity with those seeking liberty, equality, and justice through nonviolent means.

As peace historians, we renew our commitment and will redouble our efforts to explore, analyze and articulate the conditions for positive, just peace. We will strive to contribute to the process of undoing racism in the following ways:

In Our Scholarship:

We will continue to analyze the actions and methods of movements in the past and present that have contributed to positive social change by working to undo racism, and emphasize this work in our research and writing, as well as in Peace and Change and our conferences.

In Our Classrooms:

We will strive to build understanding about racism and oppression in our societies and introduce students to scholarly examinations of the processes that can build the trust and dialogue through which these crises can be addressed.

In Our Institutions

We will work to make our colleges, universities, and associations diverse and inclusive.

In Our Communities

We will share our understanding of the processes of positive social change so that we can learn and teach about building connections with the diverse array of groups and individuals working to address systemic racism, oppression, and violence.