I am proud of the work that my colleagues and I have done to register the collective voice and expertise of sociologists in response to the killing of Michael Brown and the excessive show of force and militarized response to protesters in Ferguson, MO. We realize that this is just the beginning of a long-term engagement on the issues of social justice, racial equity and community empowerment. As I have stated in other venues, “the events in Ferguson emerge from a nexus of issues that have long concerned sociologists including implicit bias, institutional racism, police brutality, economic inequities and civil rights.” These issue are not new, however, with renewed attention on these problems, an important national conversation has begun. I believe as scholars who are deeply committed to addressing these issues, sociologists can provide important analysis and data to inform these conversations and the necessary policy solutions that must follow. Thus, the birth of Sociologists for Justice, an independent collective of nearly 2000 sociologists who have signed a statement articulating the roots of the events seen in Ferguson as well as specific actions to promote transparency and a change in policing tactics employed in communities of color.
To learn more about this initiative or to read the public statement and access our popular “Ferguson Syllabus,” visit www.sociologistsforjustice.org.
We also hope you will join the ongoing conversation on Twitter by using the #socforjustice hashtag.