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Public Statement of GWU Graduate Students and Alumni on Jessica Krug

We stand with faculty of the History Department in demanding "the rescinding of her tenure and the termination of her appointment."

We were shocked and dismayed, along with many in the profession, to learn that Jessica Krug openly masqueraded as a Black Boricua woman, among other false identities. She misrepresented her work, which involved conducting oral history interviews in Diasporic communities under a false Black identity, as reparative and a model for scholars of color. We are incensed at this betrayal. We repudiate the methodical deception upon which her scholarship was built and reject such subversion of mentorship and instruction as illegitimate.

Brave Black Latina scholars, to whom we are extremely grateful, worked to reveal her true identity. Given Krug’s subsequent “confession” and disgraceful minstrel performance before the NYC City Council, we denounce her purposeful misrepresentation of herself. We also denounce her work as the epitome of expropriative white supremacy. Krug utterly disregarded and transgressed The George Washington University’s Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Academic Integrity. In the classroom, she subverted a pedagogical method, meant to empower the oppressed, to convey the idea that production of knowledge that happened in her classroom was communal production. She weaponized Black, Latinx, and colonized bodies, experiences, and communities to manipulate those who interacted with her. She employed academic scholarship—some authored by members of these very groups—that rejected white supremacy, while embodying that very supremacy on a daily basis. She actively sought to mentor students of color in the department under a false shared identity. Such violent behavior is an unabashed example of academic dishonesty, a betrayal of her students and the content that she taught. Most tragically, her manipulation created and compounded traumatic lived experiences for the members of the communities with which she interacted and claimed to represent. She colonized interviewees while conducting anthropological studies and potentially damaged the ability for scholars to build trust among communities that are largely ignored or misrepresented in scholarship. Ultimately, her appropriation of Blackness emboldened white supremacists to deny race, racism, and the value of diversity even as they use race to plunder and oppress.

We thus stand with faculty of the History Department in demanding “the rescinding of her tenure and the termination of her appointment.”

We reiterate Provost Brian Blake and Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Wahlbeck’s call for GWU students to seek support from the Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement, Counseling and Psychological Services, the Office of Advocacy and Support and GWU faculty and staff from the Wellbeing Hotline. The university should offer the necessary psychological support to current and former GWU students immediately. We also request that The George Washington University move forward from this and demonstrate its commitment to rebuilding trust between students, faculty, and colleagues by prioritizing high quality instruction that serves the public good. This means (1) ensuring the continuity of Latin American and African history courses under the supervision of a new instructor (2) expanding the platforms and courses available to students on these topics and (3) addressing the lack of real Black and Latinx voices at the professorial level.

Signed,

Dr. William Horne, ‘19

Rohail Salman, ’22

Chelsea Davis, ‘21

Dr. Kyla Sommers, ‘19

Naz Yucel, ‘22

Sara Pulliam ‘23

Zayad Bangash ‘22

Andreas Meyris ‘21

Dr. Ron Leonhardt ‘20

Lauren Jannette ‘21

Maxime Minne ’24

Alyssa Bivins ’23

Gregory Graves ‘22

Maria Baranova ‘22

Liye Hong ‘24

Brittany Lewis ‘21

Adam Aviles ’22

Zaynab Quadri ‘22

Dr. Alexa Price ‘19

Brendan Hornbostel ‘25

Katherine Hye-Ryun Yang ‘22

Rodeeia Carson ‘22

Dr. Nathan Wuertenberg ’20

Eric Cheuk ‘23

Molly Henderson ‘24

Vyta Baselice ‘21

Anthony J. Cade II ‘23

Aryn Kelly ‘24

Mary Beth Mosley ‘22

GJ Sevillano ‘24

Joe Baez ‘24

Scott Ross ‘22

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