Indigenous Acknowledgement and Statement of Justice
Ideas of justice are central to the 2018 College and University Faculty Assembly annual conference. Therefore, it is first imperative to acknowledge the Indigenous communities who have called Chicago and the place we will gather home. The CUFA conference will be held on the ancestral, traditional, and contemporary lands that belong to the Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Illiniwek, Miami, Meskwaki, and Sauk among several other Native nations. Today Chicago is home to the third largest urban Indigenous population in the U.S. A land acknowledgement does not absolve or diminish the impact of settler colonialism, but should rather demonstrate an ongoing commitment to Indigenous communities including ways of knowing, and justice for Indigenous communities both domestically and globally.
It is in this spirit that I also acknowledge centuries of racist and colonial apparatuses that affected the city and still remain today. From the Chicago Race Riots of 1919, the assassination of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton, racial redlining practices, the use of public housing projects to exacerbate residential segregation, and the contemporary state-sanctioned homicides of Black individuals, Chicago remains a site of struggle. Our conversations of justice held in this city should not be temporal, but must acknowledge the history of settler-colonialism, racism, and reciprocally collective resistance to these structures of oppression.