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A Letter from the Chair: Black Lives Matter

Dear SOC and CJS majors,

 I wanted to reach out to you all about the events in the last few days. Our nation and region are experiencing strong winds of protest against injustice, curfews, and violence. 

 You are all part of the Sociology Department. We have a vital perspective to understand our social world through critical thinking so that we see events occurring as an intersection of history, place, and issues of inequality. 

 Our Criminology & Justice Studies major provides you with a strong theoretical and practical foundation for building a lifelong understanding of crime and social justice, and the myriad social processes surrounding both. You are being trained to evaluate critically issues of crime and justice and to pursue solutions for positive social change. Additionally, Sociology majors can use their Sociological imagination to analyze and to the understand contemporary problems such as violence, crime, and policing. 

 Whether you want to enter into careers that continue to analyze social life, provide services to those most impacted, or join law enforcement, our SOC and CJS majors will prepare you to be thoughtful leaders in your respective fields. 

 Additionally, we have expertise among our faculty who have previously addressed the police killing of an unarmed Black man for a campus event called, "This Time We Call it FERGUSON: Racial Shootings, the State and Resistance." The video can be found on our Sociology homepage.

 Finally, I appreciated the email that CSUSM President Neufeldt's sent to our campus community. Did you have a chance to read it? She acknowledged “the trauma and pain that many of our [Black] students, families, faculty and staff are experiencing in the wake of these most recent tragic acts of violence.” She further asserted, “As an institution of higher education, we must speak out with our voices to condemn racism while also actively working together to destroy oppression and hate in all its forms.” See her full email.

 In closing, we often want to do more and/or we need more support because we are hurting. At the bottom of this email you will find a myriad of resources both local and national resources to explore. 

 This week, the CSUSM Black Student Center (BSC) is hosting "Reflections on Ahmaud, Breonna, George, and Others: A Space to Feel and Act" on Tuesday, June 2 at 6pm.  Additional details about how to access this event are available on their website or you may contact Black Student Center Director John Rawlins III at We encourage you all to be a part of important discussions. I have registered and perhaps will see some of you there. 




PS: Thanks to Dr. Sharon Elise, Sociology graduate students Daniela Carreon and Laura Martinez, and Dr. Luke Lara for sharing resources that appear below. 



Sign a petition:

 Get involved with local and national organizations


Mental health links to support the Black community:


“Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.”  COVID and Racism – Essay by Roxanne Gay