Anthea Butler (University of Pennsylvania) (@AntheaButler) & Kevin Gannon (Grand View University) (@TheTattooedProf), #ScholarStrike:
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 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 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.
If you would like to join us in this endeavor, and wish to make your participation public, please click this link to sign this document as a public stand in favor of the principles for which we are striking. We will craft a more formal statement in the coming days to disseminate to the media and general public. Once you sign, we will email with further details.
Inside Higher Ed, #ScholarStrike: Professors Plan Strike For Racial Justice:
Butler said in an interview that she did not discount the concerns of untenured colleagues, as she remembers well what it was once like to be a Black woman working without tenure. But she said even tenure at Penn can’t protect her from the everyday potential threat of being stopped by police for, say, sitting at a bus stop while Black.
“I appreciate that you’re afraid, but some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to hide,” she said. “Your privilege is your protection.”
Many faculty members are currently fighting against systemic racism within their own colleges and universities. Butler emphasized that this strike is happening within academe because fighting racism is fundamentally about education. But she said #ScholarStrike is much bigger than academe. ...
Gannon, who is white, said he was initially hesitant about “taking up space that isn’t mine or being the white guy that tries to jump in and take the lead.” But Butler welcomed his help and his notion that a “general strike might be a good thing, and an overdue thing.”
Gannon emphasized the teaching aspect of the strike, saying that public scholarship -- especially in critical times -- goes beyond “writing books that sell at Barnes & Noble. We miss so much when we don’t think about teaching as a fundamental part of public scholarship.”