Members of our communities at the University of Chicago, on Chicago’s South Side, across the city and country, and throughout the hemisphere are cut to the bone by George Floyd’s murder and the broader racialized violence and atrocities of which his death is a part. The protests we are seeing—not just in Chicago or the US but throughout the Americas and around the world—are expressions of grief and righteous rage not only about police violence against Black people, but also against the structural inequality and marginalization that has made communities of color ground zero for both the medical and the economic catastrophes brought on by COVID-19.
We write to express our solidarity with everyone in our communities who is making their voice heard in this unprecedented moment. We re-affirm our mission to offer support and amplified voice to affiliates whose teaching, learning, and scholarship strengthens our understanding of racism, racialized violence, structural inequalities, and authoritarian suppression of political agency and voice. In forging a rich Latin American, Afro-Latin American, and Latinx curriculum; in offering a platform for Latin American scholars, politicians, artists and intellectuals seeking an amplified voice in the US; in funding vital research; and in assembling a diverse slate of academic seminars and public events, we seek to forge community and insist on Latin America’s centrality to a meaningful understanding of our world. In the wake of recent events, we wish to acknowledge everyone—students, faculty, community members—who has contributed to this mission and invite you to return to this task with renewed energy when the time is right. We will do everything we can to catalyze and build upon your work.
The root causes of the destruction we see all around us in the US connect us in a web that stretches across the hemisphere. Your work gives us the tools to move beyond rage and grief, to begin forging ideas about what a just future will require.
Brodwyn Fischer, Claudia Brittenham, and Benjamin Lessing
Director and Future Directors of the Center for Latin American Studies
University of Chicago
Read more about protests and reactions throughout Latin America:
Argentina y Costa Rica se pronuncian por protestas en EE. UU. (Deutsche Welle)
From George Floyd to João Pedro: Brazilian artists join #BlackOutTuesday (Latin America Business Stories)
Racismo en Estados Unidos ¿y cómo andamos por casa? (Diario UChile)