In Solidarity With Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Djesika Bel Watson, and Stefani Echeverría-Fenn

Jan 30, 2019
3:25 PM

We, the undersigned, express our solidarity with Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Assistant Professor of Classics at Princeton University, who was recently the target of a racist verbal attack during the conference of the Society for Classical Studies in San Diego. Born in the Dominican Republic, Professor Padilla Peralta is the author of Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League.

During one of the “Future of the Classics” panel, Mary Frances William, a white scholar, stated that professor Padilla Peralta got his job because he is “black,” according to a report by Inside Higher Ed. In addition to those vitriolic remarks, the conference “was quite the showcase for the enforcement actions of white supremacy,” according to a post by Padilla Peralta in Medium, which recounts another racist incident endured by two students of color at the annual event this year held at the Marriott Hotel:

The day before the panel, Djesika Bel Watson and Stefani Echeverría-Fenn, co-founders of The Sportula and recipients of a WCC award at the annual meeting, were racially profiled by hotel securitypossibly at the request of other conference-goers who were unsettled by the presence of brown bodies.

As students, scholars and activists, we condemn white supremacy and racism and extend our solidarity to both Djesika Bel Watson and Stefani Echeverría-Fenn.

These instances of racist and discriminatory practices in academic spaces are not new. Historically, white supremacists have dominated the Classics field in academia, constructing over time the myth of a so-called civilized and homogeneous ancient Europe by erasing the contributions of Africans, African-descended people, and non-white Europeans.

We call on writers, artists, scholars, scholarly organizations, students, and progressive organizations to express solidarity with Dan-el Padilla Peralta, Djesika Bel Watson, and Stefani Echeverría-Fenn and mobilize against racism in all its forms. Let us turn our discontent into collective action. Our message: Black and Brown academic work matters.


Alexander Gil Fuentes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, Columbia University, USA
Amarilys Estrella, PhD Candidate, Anthropology New York University, USA
Amaury Rodriguez, Independent Scholar, USA
Amy M. King, Associate Professor of English, Director of Graduate Studies, St. John’s University, USA
Ana Liberato, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Kentucky, USA
Anthony Stevens-Acevedo, Historian, Higher Education Assistant (ret.), CUNY, USA
Anwar Uhuru, Assistant Professor of English, Harris Stowe State University, USA
April Yoder, Assistant Professor, History & Global Studies, University of New Haven, USA
Arelis M. Figueroa, Master of Divinity, USA
Cornel West, Professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy, Harvard Divinity School, USA
Daniel Huttinot, Activist and Editor, USA
David Marriott, Professor, History of Consciousness, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA
DeLisa Brown-Guc, Graduate Student, The Open University, UK
Denise Paiewonsky, Associate Professor, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Dohra Ahmad, Professor of English, St. John’s University, USA
Edwin Rosario Mazara, Host of La Sala and Activist, USA
Elena Machado Sáez, Professor of English, Bucknell University, USA
Elizabeth Manley, Associate Professor of History, Xavier University, USA
Euclides C. Nuel, Activist and Journalist, Dominican Republic
Emmanuel Espinal, Esendom magazine, USA
Erik S. McDuffie, Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies and History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
Gabriel Brownstein, Associate Professor, St. John’s University, USA
Ginetta Candelario, Professor of Sociology, Smith College, USA
Ivette Romero, Professor, Marist College, USA
Jennifer M. Rodríguez, PhD Candidate in the Spanish and Portuguese Department. Princeton University, USA
John Keene, Professor and Chair of African American and African Studies, Professor of English, Rutgers University, USA
Jomaira Salas Pujols, Graduate Student, Rutgers University, USA
Jordan Rogers, PhD Student, University of Miami, USA
Jossiana Arroyo, Professor, Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Department of African & African Diaspora Studies, University of Texas, Austin, USA
Juan J. Ponce-Vázquez, Assistant Professor, University of Alabama, USA
Jubi Arriola-Headley, Graduate Student, University of Miami, USA
Kathleen Lubey, Associate Professor of English, St. John’s University, USA
Laura Bass, PhD Student, English, University of Miami, USA
Laura Chrisman, Professor, University of Washington, USA
Laurie Lambert, Assistant Professor, Fordham University, USA
Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA
Lico Enrique Agustin, Poet and Educator, Dominican Republic
Louis Chude-Sokei, Professor of English, Chair and Director of African American Studies Program, Editor-in-Chief of The Black Scholar, Boston University, USA
Mark Anthony Neal, James B. Duke Professor and Chair of African & African American Studies, Professor of English, Duke University, USA
Melissa Mowry, Professor of English, St. John’s University, USA
Michael D. Yates, Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, USA
Michèle Voltaire Marcelin, Artist, USA
Miguel Vasquez, PhD Student, English, University of Miami, USA
Mildred D Mata, B.A. in Social Work, Dominican Republic
Natalie P. Byfield, Associate Professor, St. John’s University, USA
Nelson Ricart-Guerrero, Poet, France
Nelson Santana, Editor, Esendom Magazine, USA
Preston Stone, PhD Student, English, University of Miami, USA
Raj Chetty, Assistant Professor of English, St. John’s University, USA
Ramón A. Victoriano-Martínez (Arturo), Sessional Lecturer, University of Toronto, Mississauga, Canada
Raphael Dalleo, Professor of English, Bucknell University, USA
Raquel Virginia Cabrera, Writer, USA
Robert (Bobby) Rivera, Assistant Professor of Theology, St. John’s University, USA
Robert Forman, Professor of English and Classics, St. John’s University, USA
Robin Wellington, Associate Professor of Psychology, St. John’s University, USA
Sandy Placido, Assistant Professor of History, CUNY-Queens College, USA
Shannon Hanks-Mackey, Managing Editor, The Black Scholar, Occupied dxʷdəwʔabš (Duwamish) land
Sharon Marshall, Associate Professor, First Year Writing Coordinator, St. John’s University, USA
Sheridan Wigginton, Professor of Spanish and Latin American Studies, California Lutheran University, USA
Sophia Blea Nuñez, Postgraduate Research Associate, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Princeton University, USA
Sophie Maríñez, Academic, USA
Steve Newman, Associate Professor of English, Temple University, USA
Sydney Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Syracuse University, USA/Germany
Tarika Sankar, Graduate Student, University of Miami, USA
Tony Savino, Photographer, USA
Victor Arcturus Estrella, Artist, Dominican Republic
Wendy D. Roth, Associate Professor of Sociology , University of British Columbia, Canada
William García Medina, PhD Student, University of Kansas, USA
Yomaira C. Figueroa, Assistant Professor of English, Michigan State University, USA
Zaida Corniel, PhD LecturerStony Brook UniversityUSA