All College of Liberal Arts and Sciences classes are canceled for June 10 in observation of the #ShutDownAcademia movement, according to an email from CLAS Dean Steve Goddard.
In an email addressed to the University of Iowa campus community, Provost Montserrat Fuentes urged Hawkeyes to participate in the #ShutDownAcademia, #ShutDownSTEM and #Strike4BlackLives initiative.
“As an institution of higher education, we must be part of this conversation,” the email said.
According to shutdownstem.com, the movement encourages white and non-black people of color to stop engaging in “business as usual,” and take time to educate themselves on systemic racism and develop a plan to work toward eradicating anti-black racism prevalent within academia and STEM communities.
“In order to move toward the future we envision for ourselves, we must continually seek greater understanding of the ways in which racism, bias, and privilege are embedded into the academic experience,” the email said. “And we must be leaders of change.”
According to shutdownstem.org, the movement allows for a time for Black academics and STEM professionals to prioritize themselves.
“For those who are hurting, this initiative encourages you to create space to focus on your needs, and to learn about resources to support your well-being,” the email said.
The movement comes amid racial tension prevalent across the U.S, following the deaths of several black Americans from police brutality and other forms of racism.
Community-led protests advocating for black lives have been occurring on an almost nightly basis in Iowa City over the past week.
At the most recent demonstration June 8, protesters met on the Pentacrest and shared personal stories related to racial injustice, while organizers outlined new demands for change within the community.
“I hope tomorrow we can dedicate ourselves as a community to focus on education, action, and healing,” the email said.