To the Editor:

We are writing to express our deep dismay and concern about the possible closure of the Bachelor of Arts program in Africana Studies at SIU Carbondale, announced at the Board of Trustees meeting in July.

Closing the program would hurt the entire community by violating SIU’s proud history of inclusion, as well as its stated commitment to supporting diversity. At a time of heightened racial polarization throughout the entire society (including on college campuses), this is the moment to expand and strengthen Africana Studies on our campus, not to dismantle it. We plan on bringing our concerns to the next meeting of the SIU Board of Trustees, to be held in Alton on Sept. 14. We encourage other members of the community to join us in fighting for the future of Africana Studies and demanding that it be at the center of SIU’s vision moving forward.

Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition

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