June 10, 2020


The USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) supports #ShutDownAcademia, a grassroots movement that designates June 10, 2020, as the beginning of a “transition to a lifelong commitment of actions to eradicate anti-Black racism in Academia and STEM.” The movement asks institutions within academia to use the day to focus on how Black academics and Black STEM professionals can be better supported within our institutions.

#ShutDownAcademia focuses on Education, Action, and Healing. SCA is listening to our students, friends, and colleagues, examining our own practices, and committing itself to the actions needed to bring about real and lasting change.

In observing this day, and the Black Lives Matter movement, the School of Cinematic Arts:

  • Invites you to read a statement created by our Black students, faculty and staff and allies on how the School can effect change. This statement will serve as a guide as we create an action plan to move us forward. You may read it HERE.
  • Encourages everyone in our community to observe #ShutDownAcademia in some way. The movement’s website (www.shutdownstem.com) has resources to participate in any way you see fit. This might include reading, protesting, or if you are a Black person, taking time to let yourself heal from the trauma you have experienced in the past weeks.
  • Invites members of our community to submit feedback, comments, and suggestions for effecting impactful change within the School. We want to hear from you and are ready to listen. Send messages to diversity@cinema.usc.edu

The cinematic arts—film, television, games and interactive media—play major roles in how racist images of Black people are presented, mediated, and normalized within our society. We need to ensure that our industry practices live up to our responsibilities as creators of consumer culture. We must seize this moment to stop, listen, reflect, and decide how we will take meaningful action.