Petition to Condemn Mock Slave Auctions at JCL Classics Events

For more information and context on this issue, please see Dani Bostick’s detailed post.

Dear Sherwin Little, Mary Pendergraft, & Catherine Sturgill:

We write to express our dismay at the practice of mock slave auctions in the context of Junior Classical League national conventions, state conventions, club meetings, and other topics. We condemn the use of oppression and dehumanization as a source of levity and entertainment in an organization that is often children’s first introduction to Classics. 

We agree with the American Classical League’s May 5 statement against racism and, along with the ACL, we reject “racism and white supremacy in all of their manifestations.” We assume that the JCL, as an affiliate of the ACL, shares these sentiments and is equally committed to the ACL’s commitment that their “ resources, workshops, and other events do not inadvertently promote and further racism, sexism, white supremacy, or any other set of ideas that foster systemic inequities.”

However, in condoning, promoting, holding, and failing to condemn mock slave auctions, JCL-affiliated groups and conventions have created an environment that harms many junior classicists and excludes many other potential classicists. This is not the vision of classics that we want to promote at the secondary or post-secondary level. Individual JCL organizations look to the ACL and JCL for leadership, and they both have a large role in shaping the field and establishing the culture of secondary Classics. They must do better.

We are asking ACL and JCL to: 

  • Apologize for establishing and perpetuating mock slave auctions and acknowledge the harm this has caused generations of students. 
  • Condemn the practice of mock slave auctions for fundraising, classroom instruction, or any other purpose. 
  • Disseminate information to ACL members and JCL sponsors about the harm caused by mock slave auctions and, more broadly, using slavery and other forms of oppression as a source of humor. 
  • Prevent future harm by adding a prohibition against mock slave auctions to the JCL governing documents as soon as possible and releasing immediate guidance that informs stakeholders that they are harmful and inappropriate in any context, including (especially) the classroom.  

As students and instructors at the secondary and post-secondary level and other members of the classics community, we ask you to consider making these changes that will make our field a more inclusive place for everyone.

Sincerely,

Please scroll down to add your name to the petition

Note to signatories: thank you for signing this petition! We also encourage you to do some or all of the following:

  • Write an individual letter of concern to leaders of the ACL and JCL: Mary Pendergraft, President ACL (president@aclclassics.org), Sherwin Little, Executive Director (littles@aclclassics.org), and Catherine Sturgill, Chair of the JCL (publicrelations@ncjl.org)
  • Write a letter as a JCL chapter
  • Ask your department chair / administrator/ equity coordinator or applicable central office leader to write a letter or issue a public statement
  • Pass this letter on to like-minded colleagues (even outside of the field)

Signatories

Dani Bostick
Amy Pistone Gonzaga University
Madelyn Torchin
Aven McMaster
Assistant Professor, Thorneloe University at Laurentian
Kevin M. Perry
David Perry University of Minnesota
Jennifer Lewton-Yates
Asst. Prof. of Classics, Millsaps College
Sarah Teets University of Virginia
Liv Mariah Yarrow
Associate Professor, Classics, Brooklyn College
Jane Sancinito
Visiting Assistant Professor, Oberlin College
Isaac Hoffman Cornell Grad Student
Rebecca Kennedy Denison University
Lindsey Mazurek
Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Oregon
Victoria Austen-Perry University of Winnipeg
Graham Butler PhD, UBC
Nancy Rabinowitz
Professor of Literature Hamilton College
Thomas Lecaque Grand View University
Preston Bannard
Classics teacher, Groton School
Natalie Daifotis
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Judith P Hallett
Deborah Lyons
Dept of Classics, Miami University
Leah Bernardo-Ciddio
PhD Candidate, IPCAA, University of Michigan
Justin Slocum Bailey
Alex Claman Texas Tech University
Emma Remsberg
Timothy Joseph College of the Holy Cross
Sarah Galatioto-Ruff Teacher
Lillian Sellers Tucker High School
Tom Di Giulio
Danielle Kellogg Brooklyn College
Courtney Monahan
Duke University; Durham Academy (Durham, NC)
Wynter Douglas
Lynnea Kaylor
Student & Mentor, Kaylor Ashuvyahu Center for Classical Learning
Barbara Gold
Hamilton College (emerita)
Rosanna Lauriola
Adjunct Assistant prof. of Classics, Randolph-Macon College (VA)
Patricia Kim
Kassandra Miller
Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard College
Danielle Martin
Middle School Latin/Seattle Academy
David J. Wright
Lecturer, Fordham University
Arum Park
Assistant Professor of Classics, University of Arizona
Tori Lee Duke University
Eush Tayco
Melissa Funke
Assistant Professor, University of Winnipeg
Aneirin Pendragon
Allene M. Seet
Jennifer Gerrish College of Charleston
Michael Goyette
Instructor of Classics, Eckerd College
Matt Gibbs
Associate Professor, University of Winnipeg
Erin Moodie
Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Phebe duPont Haverford College
Molly Harris
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Brenda Fields
Gregory P. Stringer
Burlington (MA) Public High School
Dimitri Nakassis
University of Colorado Boulder
Samuel Flores College of Charleston
Hannah Culik-Baird
Assistant Professor Boston University
Hayley Barnett
Steven Mondloch UMass Amherst
Brandon Conley
Michigan State University
Jay Fisher
Professor Department of Classics Rutgers University
Heather Galante
Marcia Smith, Ph.D.
Joy Reeber University of Arkansas
Joy Eliot
Former course lead, North Carolina Virtual Public School (disabled). B.A. First Class Cambridge, M.A. Harvard.
Lisa Maurizio Bates College
Stephanie McCarter
The University of the South (Sewanee)
Brittany Johnson The Ursuline School
Grace Gillies
Visiting Lecturer, Bates College
Simon DeSantis
Gray Alexander
Clara Bosak-Schroeder
Assistant Professor, UIUC
Kathryn H. Stutz
Graduate student, Johns Hopkins University
Anatole Mori University of Missouri
Christine Ellis
Amber Kearns
Britta Ager Colorado College
Jacqueline Church
Kathryn Topper University of Washington
Yurie Hong
Gustavus Adolphus College
Marina Haworth
North Hennepin Community College
Jameson Minto
Diane Warne Anderson UMass Boston
Jacquelyn Wilkins
Teacher, EC Glass High School & Former Director, Virginia Governor’s Latin Academy
Sarah E. Bond
Associate Prof. of History, University of Iowa
Neel Smith
Max Rohleder
Sydney Preston
Graduate Student, UMass Amherst
Alice Bradley
Tom Hendrickson
Stanford Online High School
Matt Mitchell
Elijah J. Mears
adam williams
Alicia Matz Boston University
Diana Ng
Forrester Hammer
Graduate student, UMass Amherst
Dr. Liz Gloyn
Senior Lecturer in Classics, Royal Holloway, University of London
Dr Gabriel Bodard
Reader in Digital Classics, University of London
Andrew Scott Villanova University
Shannon DuBois Boston University
Katherine Wasdin
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland
Alexandra Pappas
San Francisco State University
Christopher Polt Boston College
Liliana Schaefer
Dominic Machado College of the Holy Cross
Ian Nurmi Boston University
Joseph Stern UMass Amherst
Paul Brucia Breitenfeld Boston University
Rachel Hart
Jacqui Bloomberg
Upper School Latin Teacher at Dana Hall in Wellesley, MA
Sarah Stroup
University of Washington, Seattle
Deborah Kamen University of Washington
Kristina Sherburne
Anwar Omeish
2014 Virginia JCL President
Ningyin Zhao
Eli Williams
Joseph Farrell
Emily Damiano
Ruby Blondell
Professor Emerita, University of Washington
Amit Shilo
Assistant Professor of Classics, UCSB
Mary Lou Burke
Woodrow Wilson High School
Boyce Collins
North Carolina A&T State University
Catherine Connors University of Washington
Anthony Corbeill University of Virginia
Jennifer Judge Gonzaga Preparatory
Wayne Miller
Latin Teacher, Garfield HS, Seattle, WA
Molly Stevens UGA
Stephen Hinds
University of Washington, Seattle
Jackie Murray University of Kentucky
Mali Skotheim
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Warburg Institute
Lauren Donovan Ginsberg University of Cincinnati
Jennifer Ebbeler UT Austin
Roberta Stewart
Professor, Dartmouth College
K. Scarlett Kingsley Agnes Scott College
Ellen O’Gorman University of Bristol
Anna Henriques
Francesca Tronchin
Dr. Francesca Tronchin
Addenbrooke Classical Academy
Kendra Eshleman
Boston College; MD JCL 1990-91
Anise K. Strong
Associate Professor, Western Michigan University
Jason Nethercut USF
Julie Hruby Dartmouth College
Peter Meineck New York University
Ruth Scodel
The University of Michigan
Kyler Laycock
David Kaufman
Associate Professor of Classics and Philosophy, Transylvania University
John Hyland
Christopher Newport University
Molly Jones-Lewis
Lecturer Ancient Studies Dept. UMBC; VA JCL student 1995-9
Susann Lusnia
Associate Professor & Chair, Tulane University
Joan Romanosky JCL sponsor
Michael McOsker
Ohio Wesleyan University
Kristen Ehrhardt
Associate Professor of classics, John Carroll University
Marisa Alimento
Latin Teacher/Coordinator@ Crossroads School, Santa Monica
Allison Emmerson Tulane University
Ian Lockey
Friends select school Latin teacher
Ashleigh Fata
Konnor Clark PhD
Tom Hawkins Ohio State
Ulrike Krotscheck
The Evergreen State College
Sarah Brucia Breitenfeld
Graduate Student, University of Washington
Elin Rummel
Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences
Dana Woell
Lisa Mignone
Kira Jones Emory University
Michaela Downing
Kelly P. Dugan University of Georgia
Steven Ellis University of Cincinnati
Sarah Levin-Richardson
Assistant Prof. of Classics, University of Washington
Alexander Beecroft
University of South Carolina
Ruby Blondell University of Washington
Priscilla Scofield
Roosevelt High School, Seattle
Nicolas P. Gross Retired Classicist
Elizabeth Kosmetatou
University of Illinois – Springfield
Erin Walcek Averett
Associate Professor, Creighton University
Katherine Blouin University of Toronto
Hallie Franks New York University
T. H. M. Gellar-Goad Wake Forest University
Briana Titus teacher & JCL sponsor
Zoé Elise Thomas
University of Texas at Austin
Marian Makins Temple University
Taz Hinkle
Melanie Subacus
Robert Amstutz
Susan Herder
Jason Albaugh
Laura Hudec
Emily Goetz
Classical Magnet School (former), JCL club advisor (former)
Clayton Schroer
University of Illinois/Colorado College
Arti Mehta
Gina Soter University of Michigan
Ellen Sassenberg Century High School
Sara Myers
Professor of Classics, UVA
Heather Waddell
Chair, Greek & Roman Studies (Concordia College, Moorhead MN)
Lizzy Ten-Hove
PhD Candidate, Stanford University
Catherine Reed
Dulaney High School, Baltimore County
Daniel Bostick Social Sciences Teacher
Lea Cline
Associate Professor, Illinois State University
Leigh Anne Lieberman The Claremont Colleges
Jack Kanoof
Assistant Professor, University of Virginia
Raymon Johnson
Emma Hanley
Tom Elliott
Associate Director for Digital Programs and Senior Research Scholar, NYU/ISAW
Jessica Rothwell Arizona State University
Bill Beck
Indiana University, Bloomington
Christina Vester
Associate Professor, University of Waterloo
Mary Gilbert
Birmingham Southern College
Mike de Brauw
Associate Professor of Classics, North Central College (Naperville, IL)
Vincent Price
Stephanie Wong Brown University
Sarah J. Miller Gilman School
Sara Priebe
Shelley Haley Hamilton College
Julia Fink
Geffen Academy at UCLA
Addison Lee
Parker McClary Geffen Academy
Phoebe Fischer Geffen Academy
Lucius Farha Geffen Academy
Arushi Khare Geffen Academy
Bianca Baron
Rachel Goldstein
Ploy Keener
Teacher, Walnut Hills High School
Skye Shirley GrecoLatinoVivo
Laura Manning
Felix Bieneman
Peter Barrios-Lech
University of Massachusetts Boston
Allison Glazebrook Brock University
Jackie Lund Bexley High School
Rachel Sampson
Sidler Davis State Chair

One thought on “Petition to Condemn Mock Slave Auctions at JCL Classics Events

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