Anti-racism and Land Acknowledgement Statements
The Gender Studies Program at CSB/SJU acknowledges that racism has been woven into the social fabric of the United States, from the moment Europeans first encountered the Americas. Racism and white supremacy are built into our socio-economic, cultural, and political institutions and practices, have infiltrated our individual psychologies, and thus permeate our daily experiences and interactions.
Creating real and enduring change requires that each of us works to actively dismantle racism and white supremacy, starting with ourselves and extending to our communities and our individual spheres of influence. As the beneficiaries and inadvertent reinforcers of white supremacy, white people have a necessary and distinctive role to play in creating a more inclusive community where the knowledge, oppression, and experiences of black, indigenous, and people of color are heard, validated, and addressed.
We in Gender Studies commit ourselves to the active and ongoing personal, pedagogical, and political work necessary to understand and dismantle systems of racism and white supremacy in our lives, our thinking, our research, and our teaching. We acknowledge that, while doing this work will often be uncomfortable and may sometimes be painful, it is a necessary part of the process of creating justice, healing, and the conditions for joy, for our students, our communities, and ourselves.
Specific action items in which Gender Studies is currently engaged include: carrying out our anti-racism action plan, finalizing guidelines for inclusive teaching, integrating career planning into our major so students from all backgrounds can envision majoring in Gender Studies, sponsoring student and faculty development around queer/trans studies from an explicitly intersectional perspective.
Both the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University occupy the original homelands of the Dakhóta and Anishinaabe peoples. We honor, respect, and acknowledge the Indigenous peoples forcibly removed from this territory, whose connection remains today. St. Benedict’s Monastery and St. John’s Abbey previously operated boarding schools for Native children. Now, students, faculty, and staff are working to repair relationships with our Native Nation neighbors. For more information on CSB/SJU’s historical legacy, its reverberations today, and current reconciliation initiatives, see the following resources:
- “Pathways for Native Student Inclusion: A Framework for Redressing Institutional Injustices” by Belen Benway (CSB ’21, Prairie Island Indian Community), Claire Winters (CSB ’20) and Prof. Ted Gordon. In Inclusion in Higher Education: Research Initiatives on Campus. Ed. By Amanda Macht Jantzer and Kyhl Lyndgaard. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2021.
- Many CSB/SJU students are involved in service and research projects that directly serve needs identified by Native Nations. In November 2020, the McCarthy Center’s Anti-Racism series hosted, “Decolonization in Action: Service and Research with Native Nations at CSBSJU”, featuring five students, along with a tribal official from the White Earth Nation, discussing the importance of this work.
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John’s University
Chair, Gender Studies Department
CSB Richarda P27