Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Statement on the death of Ma’Khia Bryant

April 23, 2021

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee Statement on the death of Ma’Khia Bryant

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To the Ohio State Political Science Department community:

This Tuesday, just minutes before Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in the death of George Floyd, sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was shot and killed by a Columbus Police Department officer. Many of you have let us know that you were profoundly disturbed by this news and we share your grief and anger. As the Political Science Department’s Committee for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we are writing to let you know that we support you as you struggle with this week’s sad news. 

While much is still unknown about Tuesday’s events, we know that this young Black girl was killed by police in a society in which white supremacy and anti-Black violence remain all too common. These are political issues that affect the environment in which we teach and learn. We see work to end killings like this, to stop anti-Black violence, and to end structural racism as part of our responsibility to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for everyone – one where everyone has an equal chance to learn without worrying if they, or someone who looks like them, will become a victim of violence. 

Our department is home to people of all races and classes, religions and cultures, sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, nationalities and immigration statuses, military or protected veteran statuses, and abilities and needs. As we come to the end of an already-difficult year, we want to reaffirm that we aspire for your department to be a place where racism, xenophobia, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, and all other forms of hate will not be tolerated and where Black lives matter. 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for the Department of Political Science

Committee Members: Martin Armstrong, Rachel Bowen, Janet Box-Steffensmeier, Bear Braumoeller, Victoria Gurevich, Ben McKean, and Inés Valdez