The JASNA Central California Region Committee believes in the power of the word to build community, and as such we stand in solidarity with the countless others in our country and around the world who have spoken out against the senseless murder of African Americans at the hands of police officers, and against the long, painful legacy of institutionalized racism that is woven into the fabric of our society, resulting in countless injustices against Black people and other people of color.
We acknowledge Austen’s place in the Western canon and its institutional privilege, therefore we commit to educating ourselves on the historical and cultural context of Austen’s work and our role in studying and promoting it.
We commit ourselves to engaging in discourse about the issues from Austen’s era, the limitations of her experience, the colonialism of her world, and how those biases still affect our world today. We will not turn away from any such difficult topics as they arise in our discussions, events and programming. We are committed to this work not because this is a political issue, but because this is a human issue.
We also commit to engaging with everyone in our diverse community, especially people of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, and all marginalized people in a respectful way that honors and welcomes their points of view.
Finally, we encourage members of our Central California community to take action both as individuals and as organizations by donating to organizations they care about, contacting their elected representatives, or getting involved in local organizations that promote justice, equity, and inclusion.
The Executive Committee of Jane Austen Society of North America, Central California Region
Heather Parish, Rebecca Jensen, Melissa Ruzicka, Erin Connor, Kate Henschel
This statement reflects the views and commitment of the Central California region committee only. Thank you.