WCC UK Statement on Racism and Equality


One of the principles on which the Women’s Classical Committee UK was founded was to advance equality and diversity in the study of the ancient Mediterranean world and its reception. As an organisation, we abhor the ongoing brutality of the state sanctioned murder of black people of all ages and identities, the institutionalised racism that is condoned and continued by systems of government, healthcare, and academia, and the inequality inherent in both American and European cultures. As individuals, some of us from or educated in the United States, we watch in horror as those standing up for the fundamental right to live are beaten and gassed in the streets.

We stand with Black Lives Matter. We stand with the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others on both sides of the Atlantic who have suffered and continue to suffer from the violence of institutional racism. We demand justice. We demand change. We reject racism. We reject the use and abuse of Classics by white supremacists. We reject the idea that Western Civilisation is superior.

The WCC UK will continue to advocate for equality and justice within an intersectional framework. As an organisation, we will support all Classicists of colour, whether our members, colleagues, or students.  We will continue to encourage and support white Classicists to learn to be better allies, and to decolonise our classrooms, museums, and field as a whole. We will, as individuals and as a group, use the power we have to hold others accountable for their action and dis-action, including institutions of higher learning, museums, and associated organisations. Following Cornel West’s call to action, we are committed to trying again, failing again, and failing better in the hope of fostering the equality and justice we want to see in the world.

Sign petitions:
Justice for George Floyd
Justice for Breonna Taylor
Justice for David McAtee
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery
Re-open Sandra Bland’s Case

George Floyd Funeral Fund
Minnesota Freedom Fund
Black Lives Matter
Color of Change
Sportula (US)
Sportula (Europe)

Further Resources:
Black-Centered Resources for Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Race in Britain: the best books to help understand
NY Times Antiracist Reading List
10 Books About Race
Black British Female Authors you should read
Additional reading suggestions can be found here and here.

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