Department Statement on Racial Crisis


June 10, 2020

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science is deeply saddened and outraged by the loss of Black lives to police violence and by the police brutality during peaceful protests. We see these tragedies as stemming from systemic racism that continues to permeate institutions of the United States, including law enforcement.

We recognize the scientific evidence that demonstrates the disproportionate exposure of Black communities to poverty, incarceration, climate crisis, and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic that result in limited life opportunities, worse health outcomes, and premature death. We express our compassion by standing in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

As part of the public university with a majority minority student population, we acknowledge that systemic racism limits life opportunities of our students, faculty, and staff. We pledge to continue to grow our department as an inclusive community of students and scholars, educate students and ourselves about social and spatial dimensions of racism, and employ geographic and environmental knowledge to advance social justice and eliminate racial oppression.

Marianna Pavlovskaya, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Environmental Science
Hunter College, CUNY