FIGHT THE TOWER ORIGIN STORY
The Fight the Tower Movement was created by individuals that believe we, as women of color in academia, are at a crucial crossroad. With massive budgetary cuts at universities nationwide and trends towards corporatization, underrepresented groups find themselves increasingly vulnerable to dismissals. Whether in economic boom or bust, the historical inequalities, marred by legacies of racism and sexism, continue to shape and define the context of the university today. It appears contradictory that universities, supposedly spaces of intellectual discoveries and critical investigations, in truth harbor the same societal biases that breathe life into discrimination, exclusion, and violence.
Sadly, the vast majority of us continue to endure the violent onslaught isolated and alone, unable and sometimes unwilling to seek assistance and fight. Parallel to this dismal reality, however, is the growing movement of scholars speaking up against the injustices in the academe. Led in part by the women behind the seminal anthology, Presumed Incompetent: The Intersections of Race and Class for Women in Academia, here women of color from diverse fields of study share their deeply personal stories and provide empirical data that exposes systemic wrongdoings. Reading their testimonials struck a nerve with us and in solidary with them, we carry on the fight. Beyond telling our stories, we hold the system accountable for the continued discriminatory practices targeting women of color.
Ultimately, we support women ready to stand up for their rights and fight the tower to claim their earned place in academia. To that end, we developed the Fight the Tower website to serve as a "clearing house" of information. We anticipate this information will assist them in arming themselves for the many battles ahead. We stand strong with them and want them to understand they are not alone in their fight for justice. In solidarity, we Fight the Tower!
FIGHT THE TOWER MISSION
As women of color in academia, we are often presumed incompetent, not because of our teaching, scholarship, or service, but because of the biased presumptions associated with our gender, sex, sexual orientation, color, race, national origin, ethnic group identification, citizenship status, accent, age, disability, religion, marital status, motherhood, and personhood.
We are perceived as easy targets for discrimination and dismissal based on these assumptions, and because our numbers are still kept disproportionately low in academic institutions, many wrongly surmise we are not capable of collective action. We stand today to say we are united in our struggles to fight off the institutional violent attacks against our personhood, work, and well-being, and vow to connect with others to assist and unite in raising our voices and demanding equal rights and justice.
This is what we know....