Creative Writing Planning for BIPOC Inclusion and Support

Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 15:46

Dear Creative Writing Community,

As writers, teachers, and human beings, the creative writing faculty and I send our heartfelt support to our Black students, to Black writers in the Bay Area and beyond, as well as to the Black Lives Matter movement and conversation.

In response to the long history of state-sanctioned murder of Black people, the Creative Writing Department supports the protests in the Bay Area, across the U.S., and world. We commit to working toward anti-racism for our BIPOC and all students.  Now and always.

We recognize that institutions historically were designed to support patriarchy and white supremacy, and in this light we must continue asking ourselves questions. We have a lot of work to do—we are a work-in-progress—and we welcome your feedback.

Some questions we must continue asking:

  • How do structures, policies, practices at the University, college and department level aid and abet the system of white supremacy?
  • What have we been doing and what could we do more of to recognize and dismantle entrenched policies and practices that result in anti-black racism and other forms of exclusion?
  • What decisions could we make to counter the story of white supremacy?
  • What are some concrete ways we can further support our Black, Indigenous, and POC students?
  • What are the concrete ways we can support the Black Lives Matter movement and conversation?

We bring our ignorance, our privileges, our ongoing questions. We also bring our hearts and good will. And the three bones of the inner ear.

  • This is an ongoing conversation, but as a starting point we renew our commitment to:
  • hiring more Black, Indigenous, and people of color on as lecturers and professors, and to continue to press the University to prioritize the hiring and retention of BIPOC faculty.
  • bringing BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA voices to our campus
  • pressing the college and university to widen outreach to BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA students, and to ourselves buoy our efforts to mentor BIPOC undergraduate students to succeed and prepare for graduate programs.
  • creating a new CW scholarship for BIPOC students
  • continuing our multi-voiced Student-Faculty Working group to talk about pedagogy and community inclusion

Please find below local resources for our Black students and all of our students who seek support, ongoing self-care and community. Also listed are ways to finance and strengthen organizations that support black and brown communities—including donating time and supporting bail funds in our city and beyond.

CW supports all non-violent reinventions of the world wholeheartedly.  WE LOVE TO VOTE.

I wish you well, and more well.


Nona Caspers, Chair of Creative Writing