ECREA’s Public statement on #BlackLivesMatter and racism in higher education in #Europe

Dear ECREA members,

With this public statement ECREA seeks to express its full solidarity with the global human rights movement #BlackLivesMatter. The movement gained momentum after the horrific police killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020 and has spread globally.

As human beings we act in solidarity with those subject to police violence and those who are the victims of racist acts.

As Europeans we recognise a particular urgency to challenge systemic racism caused by the linkages between colonial, imperialist and supremacist legacies.

As communication and media scholars, we should consider how to leverage our institutional power and how to transform our practices within Higher Education to foster inclusive and diverse communities.

Colonialism, imperialism and ethno-nationalism have left their imprint on our field and with varying degrees on Higher Education generally in Europe. There is a particular urgency to account for how colonial and racist lineages shape contemporary constellations of media and communication, for example in discussions on migration and nationalism. This is a call to all academic institutions to face this legacy.

We recognize that a transformation of academia is necessary. This process of change and self-education can only be dialogic. For this purpose, we can build upon the work conducted on race, discrimination and communication by early career and established ECREA members. We also invite all of our members to share their suggestions and ideas on the topic with the Executive Board, Section, TWG and Network management teams, or the Public Statement Committee.

Koen Leurs, Murat Akser and Ilija Tomanić Trivundža
ECREA Public Statement Committee

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