Antiracism & Interpersonal Violence

Message from the Director

Violence, murder, and oppression are not acceptable. Racism is not acceptable. This is unacceptable. The violence against Black and Indigenous communities must end. We mobilize now with a renewed sense of urgency to advance racial justice in our local communities and the nation. We stand in solidarity with our Black faculty, staff and students and affirm that Black Lives Matter.

We recognize that we must examine ourselves with a sense of immediacy, understanding that it is our responsibility to identify and eradicate any policies or practices of the college that have created inequities due to our action (or inaction) for groups that face disadvantage as a result of systemic racism.

As the Director of the Office of Gender-Based Violence, I recognize that my privilege extends beyond the color of my skin to my position as a tenured professor and Director of this Office; I am committed to using my privilege to stand against racism. This includes working to better understand the ways in which I unintentionally contribute to white supremacy. I will be considering this in my own work and in the approach and mission of OGBV. I am hopeful that we can harness our collective anger and sadness to focus our GBV work on dismantling the racist policies and practices that devalue the lives, bodies, and spirits of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color. We approach this with different histories and from various positionalities, both as individuals and as scholars; I believe that this affords us an opportunity to work together to intentionally build an anti-racist practice focused on condemning all forms of violence and oppression.

 

Racism and Intimate Partner Violence

It is important to reflect on how violence, specifically intimate partner violence, is connected to racism and oppression. Intimate partner violence permeates all socioeconomic levels, gender, ethnicity, and racial backgrounds. However, people of color experience disproportionate rates of violence and the movement itself to end sexual and domestic violence replicates oppression, power imbalances, and racism within mainstream and other organizations. The barriers to those with poor education, limited job resources, language barriers, or fear of deportation make it difficult for people to find help and support services. Black people may fear calling their partner due to the danger of police brutality and racism in the criminal justice system. Professor Ijeomma Ogbonnaya’s work highlights the disparities of police violence for Black, Indigenous, and Latina Women.  Individuals from different races, classes and backgrounds all respond to intimate partner violence in different ways. Domestic violence prevention practices that are inclusive and intersectional will help benefit all victims.

Understanding Anti Racism work

To be effective in Gender-Based Violence work and social work we must be anti-racist. To learn more about what actions you can take within your role as an educator, researcher, or clinician, please visit some of the resources below. 

 

Resources

Being Antiracist

Anti-racism as Violence Prevention 

How can advocates better understand Transformative Justice and its connection to gender-based violence intervention and prevention work?

 

Antiracist tools

The Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence has created a resource list of actionable tools for anti-racist work. 

 

Reading Lists

https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/g32733124/best-books-on-anti-racism/ 

https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/reading-lists/ 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/29/books/review/antiracist-reading-list-ibram-x-kendi.html 

https://sojo.net/anti-racism-reading-list 

 

Intersectionality

We must continue to expand our perspecitves and check our biases when it comes to understanding the intersectionality of lived experiences, privilege, and oppression. To learn more about current conversations regarding intersectionality view the resources below. 

Toolkit for tackling personal biases

Personal self-assessment of Anti Bias Behavior

 

Verna Myers: How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them