The Davidsonian stands in solidarity with all Black members of the Davidson community. We stand in solidarity with the families and loved ones of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and all those lost to merciless racist violence. We stand against racist injustice and police brutality, and we firmly commit to amplifying Black voices. Black Lives Matter. Black voices matter.
As we consider recent events in the context of the systemic racism that pervades the Davidson community and the world more broadly, we have begun to interrogate our paper’s role and responsibilities as a storytelling platform, news source, and historic institution at Davidson. To that end, we recognize we must take actionable steps against short and long-term inequities in an effort to further structural change within our organization and community at large.
Most immediately, we recognize that our response to recent events has been slower and less comprehensive than we would hope. However, we are committed to covering the present moment thoroughly. To us, that means reforming our platform to involve a wider range of community voices and greater accountability in news stories, social media engagement, and featured work.
We seek, first, to create an open and accessible space that centers and amplifies underrepresented voices — particularly those of the Black community and campus groups committed to education and reform. That means re-evaluating our traditional standards of journalism to include all ranges of outcry and highlighting the work that so many community members are already doing to combat systemic, racist violence and injustice.
We are working towards long-term projects to conduct archival research on The Davidsonian’s past coverage of racial injustice, police brutality, and protest movements, as well as which voices we have historically excluded in regular publication. This historical examination not only applies to news coverage, but to every element of the paper, from athletics to arts and culture, as well.
These steps, of course, are not enough to create enduring change. Beyond this moment, The Davidsonian commits to addressing our organization’s history as a white-dominant news source that has often underrepresented or failed to address issues of racial injustice within the community we serve.
The Davidsonian currently has no Black staff members, and we have rarely had more than a few editors of color out of a staff of 15-20 people. While not intentional or actively exclusive, there is no excuse for these statistics, and we commit to intentionally recruiting more Black writers and editors. Our job is to represent our community’s voices and to report on the issues that matter to them, so we will use this power to more actively cover the work that members of the Black community have long been doing and to diversify our leadership.
As we enter a new semester, we have the opportunity to re-think our organizational structure and re-imagine the ways The Davidsonian can effectively speak to all members of our community. We plan to publish special issues that use storytelling as a tool for justice and investigative pieces that examine racial inequity in different community spaces and institutions at Davidson.
We are committed to holding administrators accountable by following up on how their promises align with community members’ experiences long-term, and we hope to push the college to be more transparent through our reporting. We are also considering strategies for being more intentional in the types of questions we will continuously ask to ensure this work doesn’t end after a few months.
We can influence the topics students, faculty, and staff will read about months from now and institutionalize inclusive coverage so that this moment of action becomes not a passing trend, but rather the beginning of systemic transformation. We hope you’ll help us hold ourselves and Davidson accountable.
— The Davidsonian editorial staff