As the United States grapples with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless other lives destroyed by systemic racism and police violence, and as protests extend across the country to address and change the unequal treatment of marginalized and powerless individuals here and abroad, the faculty of the Criminal Justice program and the Department of Government and Justice Studies at Appalachian State University stand with other social justice advocates to make public that we do not condone or defend recent events involving the use of excessive force by law enforcement officials that is having a disproportionate impact on communities of color.
Within and beyond our departmental program, we will continue our commitment to respect and support diversity and inclusion in our educational programs, in our research, and in our engagement and related activities. And, as we continue to address the various examples of injustice in our society, in conjunction with the global pandemic, our program remains committed to the always unfinished project of promoting the values of our profession, which are built on the bedrock belief in equal justice for all under the law. We stand with those who are working peacefully, both inside and outside of the criminal justice system, to bring that equal justice closer to reality.
We embrace the wisdom bestowed on all by the late and well-respected John Lewis:
"Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble." (June 2018 tweet)