Political Science Department to Stand in Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement


Department of Political Science at Portland State University stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.


Our affirmation that Black Lives Matter reflects our commitment to being responsive “to historical patterns of exclusion and disadvantage that continue to impose barriers.” The existence of structural racism in the United States is not a partisan issue. There is no question whether BIPOC are discriminated against in our country; the question is what we as faculty and staff members in the Department of Political Science should do about it. For too long, we have been complacent and complicit in the devaluing of the intellectual and cultural contributions of Black, Indigenous, other people of color, and women, and have ignored the racism and sexism that pervade the academy. 

We, therefore, pledge the following concrete actions to embody our commitment to the BLM movement:

1. We pledge that nonwhite and non-male political scientists will be well represented in our syllabi.

2. We pledge to engage racial bias substantively in our course discussions and curriculum, including intersectional and historical approaches as appropriate. 

3. In our research, we pledge to cite and amplify the voices of scholars from marginalized groups.

4. We pledge to prioritize the hiring, mentoring, and promotion of Black political scientists as well as political scientists from other marginalized groups.

5. We pledge to create a standing committee in our department whose charge is to monitor our progress on this front and offer suggestions for what we can do better. Additionally, the committee will be responsible for proposing standards of accountability for members of the department. This committee will be composed of 2 faculty members, a graduate student, an undergraduate student, and a staff member, and should meet quarterly. At least once per year, the committee will facilitate an open forum discussion for the students to voice their concerns/involvement regarding the progress of the department.

In short, we pledge to do better. 


Robert Asaadi, Instructor
Lindsay J. Benstead, Associate Professor
Richard A. Clucas, Professor 
Adam Culver, Instructor 
Joshua Eastin, Associate Professor
Stephanie Erev, Assistant Professor
Safia Abukar Farole, Assistant Professor
David Kinsella, Professor
Kelly K. Mackura, Department Manager
Jack Miller, Senior Instructor
Madison Powell, Operations Coordinator
Chris Shortell, Associate Professor
Melody E. Valdini, Professor and Chair
Kim Williams, Associate Professor
Birol A. Yesilada, Contemporary Turkish Studies Chair & Director of Mark O. Hatfield School of Government