Below is a compilation of responses and statements from several College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences schools and departments – as well as Clemson University President James P. Clements – in response to recent events related to racism and injustice in our nation and world. As a body committed to building people and communities, the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences stands alongside those working for change, and we will continue to use our unique combination of disciplines to frame programmatic work in this area. View our College Newsstand to learn more about our recent work.

From the Department of Communication
We share here the statement on racism from the National Communication Association, the world’s largest professional organization of scholars, educators, students and practitioners dedicated to studying and promoting effective and ethical communication.

The Department of Communication at Clemson University proudly holds a department membership in NCA. As an academic discipline dedicated to the practice of effective and ethical communication, we not only have a duty but a calling to stand up against hatred, intolerance, and racism. We have seen how our world has been shaken through the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. We live with compassion, respect, and appreciation as we pursue our teaching and research and serve our communities, university, and discipline. It is who we are.

The Department of Communication stands in solidarity in building a better future by engaging students in our undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as through faculty research projects that examine how communication, identity, and systemic beliefs impact our world. The work we do illuminates our interconnectedness and need to support, advocate, and better understand how to break cycles of oppression. We must do our part. And we will.

From the Department of Psychology
The Department of Psychology at Clemson University unequivocally expresses immense sorrow and outrage at the senseless killing of George Floyd, which bore striking and tragic similarity to other unjust killings, including of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. We write to express support of all of our students, colleagues and friends but, in particular, our African American students, colleagues and friends who are being confronted by so many tragic deaths, including at the hands of those who have sworn to protect and serve.

The department expresses a commitment to redouble our efforts to live up to our mission statement and to promote and help build an inclusive environment within our department, on campus, in our neighborhoods, in our nation, and across the world. We rededicate ourselves to efforts to recognize, honor and respect people of all backgrounds and experiences. We pledge to continue to work towards eliminating racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of injustice.

We hope that everyone will take the time to reflect on how they can help to bring justice, compassion and kindness both to those with whom they interact and to all members of our society.

From the Department of Public Health Sciences
We in Clemson’s Department of Public Health Sciences are committed to eliminating health inequity through our research, teaching, and service. We recognize racism as a significant driver of social determinants of health that unfairly disadvantage some in achieving optimal health. We are also concerned about these inequities as related to COVID-19. We stand with the American Association of Public Health and other public health programs across the world in addressing this issue. Please see the resources in this link to learn more about Racism and Health and what we can do to address it.

From the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice
The Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice is sharing recent statements from the national professional organizations representing our three disciplines: American Sociological Association, American Anthropology Society, American Criminal Justice Society. Each of these statements recognizes our responsibility as researchers, students, and citizens to investigate and challenge all forms of racism and injustice. As a department we are committed to supporting our students, staff, and faculty as we work together to address violence perpetrated against African Americans, most recently in the horrific killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery.

During this tumultuous period in our history, we stand ready to engage with our students to better understand the roots of institutional racism and its continued impact on every facet of our society today and provide our students with strategies for addressing and changing these deeply rooted systems of inequality. In our research, community outreach, and engagement we will work towards a more just and equitable society and hold each other accountable in our commitment to diversity and respect. We stand in solidarity with our African American students, colleagues, and community members. Thus, we seek not only to better understand inequality and racism in all its forms, but we work to alleviate it.

From the School of Nursing
The core of Nursing is represented by who the nurse is, what the nurse knows and how that is put into interactions with persons and communities to promote well-being and improve health outcomes. Nurses and other healthcare professionals have to explicitly acknowledge that race as well as racism factor into the provision of health care to individuals and communities. Implicit bias and structural racism perpetuate health disparities. The cumulative trauma of systemic/structural racism and poverty are social determinants of health that nurses must know and act on in their nursing practices. Nurses everywhere are called on to actively promote healing in times of injustice. It is the essence of human caring. We must do our part!

The School of Nursing is currently working to help eliminate health disparities through research in the Center for Research on Health Disparities as well as in individual faculty research projects. We are continuing to grow our commitment to reducing the effects of health disparities.

The School of Nursing also shared a position statement from the American Academy of Nursing.