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MFA in Documentary Media Program Collective Statement – Black Lives Matter

George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, Ahmaud Arbery…They are only a few of the Black citizens of the United States who were murdered by police and racist civilians this year alone. We the faculty of Northwestern University’s MFA in Documentary Media program vehemently condemn anti-Black violence and systemic racism in the U.S. We collectively state: Black Lives Matter.  

We stand in solidarity with the protestors who are leading the fight against systemic racism and white supremacy, and we support our students and colleagues of color who are subjected to daily injustices.  

Now is a crucial time for real transformation within our nation—and in its social, political, economic, and cultural institutions. As educators and filmmakers, we are conscious of the bias and inequality embedded in higher education and in our own field of documentary filmmaking. 

Within our own program’s core faculty, we see and acknowledge that only 22% of our faculty positions are filled by people of color. This collective portrait highlights the work we need to do.

We are determined to take steps to dismantle these inequities.

We are committed to supporting Black artists and educators and mentoring emerging Black storytellers. We know we need to be even more intentional. 

To this end, anti-racism shall inform every decision we make as a program, in support of Black students, staff, and faculty to the benefit of our community at large.

We pledge to annually review our curriculum, our hiring practices, and our visiting artist initiatives to create an educational space that is inclusive and anti-racist.

We are determined to critique documentary media and cinematic arts and its impact on Black artists, educators, and emerging filmmakers of color.

Diversity, Inclusion and Equity alone will not suffice. We seek to be an active force for transformation and change.

A Luta Continua
Amandla! Awethu!

In solidarity,

The Core Faculty
MFA in Documentary Media Program
Northwestern University