Joint Statement from the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation regarding the passage of #SB2681.
All those who support these sentiments in the statement below, please share freely:
Members of the University of Mississippi community are deeply concerned about the consequences of SB2681, a bill that reaffirms the ability to legally discriminate against the LGBTQ community and also gives license for all sorts of physical, spiritual, and psychic violence against LGBTQ residents of Mississippi. Such a bill compromises the civil rights of all of the state’s residents because this bill sets a precedent for legal discrimination. This bill is particularly problematic because it incorrectly uses religious freedom to discriminate against others. As we know from history, this type of legal strategy has caused the political, social, and economic subjugation of others. This bill also imperils economic development in the state. Wishing to avoid discrimination, LGBTQ individuals may choose to leave the state or reject employment opportunities. Most importantly, SB2681 marginalizes essential members of our community. The LGBTQ community includes our aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters. They are valued, crucial members of the Mississippi community, and this legislation could threaten their equal status as neighbors and citizens.
At this difficult time, we wish to reaffirm the University of Mississippi’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and support of our LGBTQ members of the campus community. We wish to publicly recognize that they make essential contributions to the functioning of our university as educators, staff, and students. Together, LGBTQ people and allies advance our goals of academic excellence, creating successful and enriching learning environments where all campus members thrive. Most importantly, they are our colleagues, mentors, and friends and we are grateful for their presence in our campus community.
Harker to become Interim Director for 2014-15
On behalf of Glenn Hopkins
Please forward this information to your faculty and staff.
As you may know, Dr. Susan Grayzel, Director of the Center for Women and Gender Studies, has received a prestigious fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies and will be on leave this next academic year. This fellowship is national recognition of her superlative, and much lauded, historical scholarship. I know she will enjoy and benefit greatly from this year immersed in her scholarship without the burden of administrative responsibility. Our congratulations go to Dr. Grayzel on receiving one of the 2014 Collaborative Research Fellowships of the American Council of Learned Societies.
To serve as interim director of the Center during this coming year, we are most fortunate to have Dr. Jaime Harker of our Department of English available and willing to serve. Dr. Harker is a fine and well-published scholar and an excellent teacher who also brings significant administrative experience to this important position. She has been affiliated with the Isom Center for many years and is intimately familiar with its several missions. I know the Center is in good hands, and I look forward to working with her in the coming year.