The Department of Classics at UCLA strongly condemns the racist actions that took place at the 150th Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies held in San Diego between January 3rd and 6th, 2019. We extend our unwavering support to the individuals who were targeted, Djesika Bel Watson, Stefani Echeverría-Fenn, and Dan-el Padilla Peralta, and to all members of the Classics community who were threatened by the statements and actions of Mary Frances Williams, the staff of the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel, and all those who align themselves with them.
Our department is deeply committed to fostering an inclusive environment where students and scholars of all backgrounds and identities feel welcome. As a department, we pledge to take meaningful actions to make the field of Classics more inclusive and equitable, beginning with a donation to support the Sportula in pursuit of its mission of making Classics more accessible to all students and a reexamination of our departmental policies, curricula, and practices.
We strongly reiterate the calls to action articulated by Dan-el Padilla Peralta in his post on the online forum Medium titled “Some Thoughts on AIA-SCS 2019” that the Society for Classical Studies install an equity team and ombudsperson to address future incidents of discrimination and that the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina Hotel enhance its bias and inclusivity training. The principles here articulated are fundamental to the research and pedagogy missions of our department.