/ Studium, Campus

The Racial Justice Student Collective (RJSC)

Logotype Racial Justice Student Collective

Critical Urbanism students have united in solidarity with the Black Lives Matters Movement and aim to push its main concerns within in the departement and the wider university structure.

As Critical Urbanisms students and faculty at the University of Basel, we are committed to supporting and uplifting the core principles of the global Black Lives Matter movement in our own program, as well as across the University. We believe that a decolonial perspective must include acknowledging and dismantling the systemic racism embedded within all institutions, including the University.

Higher education – in Basel, Switzerland and beyond – maintains a white supremacist, patriarchal, heteronormative, and classist order of operations. It prioritizes knowledge making from white, cisgender, male bodies and rewards them accordingly, while continuing to profit from centuries of colonial plundering that place people of color, and Black women and transgender people especially, at a disadvantage in accessing the benefits of academia. This knowledge is then often prioritized over non-academic community knowledge.

As our program boasts a curriculum that includes “the study of the urban by examining today’s social struggles and global conflicts in relation to the legacies of empire and alternative practices of world-making and knowledge production,” we should be particularly committed to begin the long but critical process of unlearning racism and building antiracist practice within academia, starting with our own program. Despite positioning ourselves within a discourse of disrupting colonial legacies, the program maintains a logic of colonialism within itself. While our program invites academics from a variety of backgrounds for lectures and seminars, the on-site faculty is still predominantly white. Critical Urbanisms began with the aim of studying legacies of colonialism in the Global South, but also profits from white supremacy in many ways, for example, by utilizing resources like the Basel Mission archives, which contain colonial records since 1815, and sending students to study the Global South without any possibility for students from the Global South to study Switzerland.

To read more into the details of the collective`s commitments, please follow the link below.