The work is the resistance

I am so pleased to affirm, support, and sign on to the following statement released yesterday by the University of the Pacific Academic Council (our faculty governing body or faculty senate):

Dear Colleagues,

We in Academic Council are resolutely against President Trump’s policies barring citizens of selected Muslim-majority countries from entering the US including refugees, antagonizing and insulting our Mexican neighbors, and threatening our DACA students with deportation. These policies are the antithesis of our values at Pacific. We stand strong in support of our international colleagues of all faiths and from all countries, particularly Muslims and citizens of these targeted countries whose rights are most threatened. We encourage open and robust debate on legitimate policy issues, but exclusion and discrimination based on religion or country of origin cannot be tolerated. We need to speak up and to support free press, freedom of speech, and the right to peacefully protest to be a voice of tolerance and reason during these troubled times.

On behalf of Academic Council,

Sharmila King

Chair, Academic Council

I do not serve on Academic Council, and I had nothing to do with creating this statement, so I take zero credit for its existence.  I applaud my colleagues for this clear, firm, and unequivocal statement condemning the recent EOs as well as other discriminatory moves.

There’s been a convo on highered Twitter today about how exhausted we all are, and how distracted we are from our typical work of teaching, conducting research, and performing various forms of service to our institutions and our profession (which are usually peer reviewing articles, serving on governance committees, etc.).   Sometimes doing our work is the resistance.  Doing the work of Sociology, History, Religious Studies, and so many other fields on difference and systems of power is to resist.  Doing the work of Geology, Chemistry, Biology on climate change, evolution, family planning is to resist.  Building pedagogies of inclusion in Education is to resist.  The list goes on.  I myself am trying to practice self care (healthy eating, exercise, sleeping, periodic unplugging from social media) and to focus on my students and my research.  Both my teaching and scholarship are now sites of resistance.  I am teaching a new course totally outside of my field on Religion, Race, and Justice in the US, for example.  Sometimes doing the work is the resistance.

I am so grateful to my academic communities at my institution and in my disciplines more broadly, and for my social media communities in higher ed on Facebook and Twitter.  Let’s take care of each other out there.

Featured image courtesy of my son.

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