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Message from ASEH President Edmund Russell

June 03, 2020 10:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Dear ASEH Members,

I feel torn apart by recent events.  The Covid-19 epidemic and job layoffs have caused terrible suffering in communities of color.  In the midst of that crisis came the horrific killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd.  Those murders are, of course, only the most recent examples of a long history of racism and injustice toward African Americans in the United States.  Protestors have flooded into our streets to call for justice, and in too many cases police have responded to peaceful protest with violence. 

In the midst of a terrible time, I am writing to say to all our members—and especially African Americans and members of other oppressed groups—that ASEH stands with you and condemns racism, injustice, and brutality.  I do not pretend to know what it feels like to be African American, but anyone can see that we live in a world of pain.  I too feel anger and despair.

Now, as ever, we must work diligently to enact our principles of equity and inclusion in ASEH, educational institutions, and all of society.  I encourage all of us to contact colleagues, even by brief texts or emails, to let them know we support them.  We need to be ready to listen and respond to colleagues who voice their experiences with racism and injustice.  If there is a particular way in which I can help you, please let me know.  


Edmund Russell

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American Society for Environmental History

UIC Department of History - MC 198

601 S. Morgan St.

Chicago, IL  60607-7109