We mourn with millions across the country and the world over the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others. As is plainly evident, entrenched institutional racism and white-supremacist violence threaten the foundations of our democracy and our security as free citizens. We must also reflect on how these murders reflect larger patterns of anti-Black, anti-Brown, anti-Indigenous, and anti-transgender oppression.

What does this have to do with archaeology? As archaeologists, we are first and foremost members of a larger community. We have a moral and ethical responsibility to combat violence and the ideologies of hate that racially target members of our community.

Our interests in preserving and learning from cultural heritage require a just, equitable, and healthy civil society. Our responsibilities at the ARF go beyond the condemnation of overt violence of any kind. We must also understand and address the insidious injustices and inequities that make institutions of higher education, including our own institution, unwelcoming and even harmful to marginalized members of our community. The exclusion of Black, Brown, and Indigenous voices, priorities, and agendas in archaeology and other areas of research directly contribute to the ongoing police and white-supremacist violence.

As archaeologists we must rise to the challenge of rebuilding a society that recognizes that Black Lives Matter. We applaud and join the larger community in the fight to end institutionalized racial violence. We also commit to transforming archaeology into a more humane, equitable, inclusive and empowering practice.

We encourage you to read the statement sent last Friday by campus leaders, Chancellor Carol Christ and Oscar Dubón, Jr., vice chancellor for equity and inclusion:

We also want to share links to several anti-racist resources that Prof. Bill White highlighted in his Ask An Archaeologist interview earlier this week:

Finally, please see UC Berkeley’s Principles of Community statement, which was developed collaboratively by students, faculty, staff, and alumni, and issued by the Chancellor. Its intent is to serve as an affirmation of the intrinsic and unique value of each member of the UC Berkeley community and as a guide for our personal and collective behavior, both on campus and as we serve society.

These principles of community for the University of California, Berkeley, are rooted in our mission of teaching, research and public service. They reflect our passion for critical inquiry, debate, discovery and innovation, and our deep commitment to contributing to a better world. Every member of the UC Berkeley community has a role in sustaining a safe, caring and humane environment in which these values can thrive.

·We place honesty and integrity in our teaching, learning, research and administration at the highest level.

·We recognize the intrinsic relationship between diversity and excellence in all our endeavors.

·We affirm the dignity of all individuals and strive to uphold a just community in which discrimination and hate are not tolerated.

·We are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and dialogue that elicits the full spectrum of views held by our varied communities.

·We respect the differences as well as the commonalities that bring us together and call for civility and respect in our personal interactions.

·We believe that active participation and leadership in addressing the most pressing issues facing our local and global communities are central to our educational mission.

·We embrace open and equitable access to opportunities for learning and development as our obligation and goal.

On behalf of the ARF community,

Christine A. Hastorf, Faculty Director

Nicholas Tripcevich, Lab Manager

Sarah W. Kansa, Program Associate

Kass Cazier, Contract and Grants Assistant