A statement of solidarity and action on combating systemic racism from the undergraduate academic community

September 3rd, 2020

Academic spaces have historically been white-centered, patriarchal, and ableist. This bias continues to be reflected in the silence and tokenistic gestures of our academic institutions, and what they actually do to BIPOC bodies and the citizens of the Global South, their ways of knowing, and their cultures. The events of 2020 have uncovered the exploitation that underpins our society in ways that would be irresponsible for us to ignore. 

While we recognize the inherent limitations of academic spaces, we refuse to stay passive as voices are systemically silenced within our own system. We commit to using our influence as publishers of student work to privilege BIPOC perspectives. 

As we embark on this intentional anti-racist work on the unceded territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples, we commit to action as allies and conspirators in the fight against a deeply unequal status quo and to unlearning the harmful practices that we have internalized by living in these systems. 

This year, we pledge to: 

  1. Reject literature submissions that can be weaponized against marginalized voices.
  2. Actively seek and promote BIPOC leadership within our own organizations.
  3. Hire and properly compensate BIPOC persons whenever possible in our work.
  4. Publish and encourage the production of papers with diverse perspectives from outside the Western canon and the colonial narratives of the status quo.

We hope that this letter inspires and encourages diversity within our journals—not only in content and perspective but also in leadership. We ask you to walk with us and hold us accountable to the anti-racist and decolonial work to which we are committing. 

Michael John Lo, Editor-in-Chief, On Politics, UVic Undergraduate Journal of Political Science

Fabian Heinrich, Editor-in-Chief, Sophia, UVic Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy

Isaac Nazaroff, Editor-in-Chief, PLVS VLTRA, UVic Undergraduate Journal of Hispanic and Italian Studies

Kate Korte, Editor-in-Chief, UVic Undergraduate Journal of European Studies

Anne Hung, Managing Editor, The Albatross, UVic English Undergraduate Journal

Sophia Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, The Ascendant History, UVic History Undergraduate Journal

Naomi Duska, Editor-in-Chief, This Side of West, UVic Writing Undergraduate Journal