Departmental Statements

ECU Anthropology Department Statement on Violence and Hate Against Asian-Americans

The faculty, staff, and students associated with the Department of Anthropology at East Carolina University are saddened and deeply concerned for the victims and families touched by the tragic murders in Atlanta, Georgia last week. The Asian and Asian American communities across the United States have endured discrimination and violence throughout the pandemic and this attack comes at a moment of horrific intolerance and hatred.

The Department of Anthropology stands united in the face of this atrocity – against gender-based violence, racism, and xenophobia; for compassion and understanding; and with great sympathy for those who are in pain. Please receive this message as an expression of our deep care for all communities, most of all for the members of our community who experience fear and anxiety as the direct result of the violent acts of last week.

Our discipline teaches us to learn, care and speak up for all cultures around the world. That’s why our department feels that it is important to voice our support and condemn hate in all forms. We also must act – as individuals, community and a department which will strive to develop new initiatives throughout our subspecialities to create lasting positive social and cultural change for all communities in eastern North Carolina.

We urge all members of the East Carolina University community to continue to uphold our institutional values of diversity, equality, and inclusion at this difficult moment in our national history.

Finally, we urge anyone who has experienced an incident of discrimination or harassment to report it to ECU’s Office of Equity and Diversity.

The ECU Center for Counseling and Student Development also provides supportive services for students in crisis.  252-328-6661

ECU Anthropology Department Statement on Racism

The ECU Department of Anthropology is both angered and grieved by the senseless killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis, MN, on May 25, 2020. In a week when the loss of human life to a pandemic surpasses 100,000—a health crisis that disproportionately affects people of color—this African-American man’s death, which followed those of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA, on February 23, 2020, and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, KY, on March 14, 2020, reminds us of the powerful effects of the enduring social injustice that still exists after four centuries of institutionalized racism, judicial inequality, and structural violence in this country.

This history and these acts of racism can no longer be tolerated in our society, and we stand as ONE against them in any form. As a department that prides itself on teaching human diversity, cultural understanding, and empowerment for all people, we do not accept this type of hatred in our society, community and university, and we reaffirm our discipline’s commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and human rights for all people. Moreover, against a backdrop of increased nationalism and social divisions within our country, we also reaffirm our commitment to teaching about the importance and value of the variation we observe in our skin color, gender, abilities, and cultural beliefs and explicitly note that our singular humanity is resilient and is borne from a diverse community living together despite our real or perceived differences.

Our department will continue to support our students, faculty members, and alumni of color and will work actively to build a more inclusive environment for them. We pledge to further our mission of educating students and community members about the history of racism, including within the discipline of anthropology itself, and to speak out against racist comments, hate speech, and episodes of racial bias and injustice, while also providing a safe space for students to talk about their experiences with racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. We look forward to collaborating and connecting with communities in eastern North Carolina and around the nation and world to address the important challenges that lasting transformation demands.

For more information see the American Anthropological Association statement on race: