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ETST Statement of Commitment

With many others, we mourn the loss of Black lives in the United States. Most recent are George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Tony McDade, among others, whose humanity was negated and snuffed out due to police violence. Underlying the serious matter of police violence are structural inequities that heighten the consequences of a health pandemic, systemic heteropatriarchal racism, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness that deleteriously impact Blacks’ well-being.

On June 2, 2020, 389 students, alumni, staff, faculty, administrators, and community members gathered online for “Reflections on Ahmaud, Breonna, George, and Others: A Space to Feel and Act.” Several of us were in attendance and struck by the courageously honest students who spoke their truths. And, we heard those who spoke. We listened to their experiences, frustrations, and requests of attendees to use their platform(s). In response, as program directors and members of the Ethnic Studies Steering Committee, we commit to the following:

  • Create and deliver ethnic studies curriculum that honors the histories and experiences of communities of color generally, and Blacks in particular.
  • Participate in Black Ally trainings, once available.
  • Support campus efforts to increase Black student representation on campus.
  • Help to amplify Black voices on campus.
  • Use our privileged positions to advocate with and for Black students, as well as nonBlack students of color.
  • Collaborate with the Black Student Center, as well as other centers that serve marginalized student populations.
  • Work against the normalization of the loss of Black folks.

We support the urgency, necessity, and implementation of more Black studies curriculum on campus. The Ethnic Studies Steering Committee is at work generating additional strategies and commitments on campus to continue our sustained critique of anti-Blackness and white supremacy. We invite allies, collaborators, students, faculty, and administrators to lend a hand and their voice in supporting this work. Under the current budget crisis, institutional support for this work remains imperative. As a campus, the responsibility is all of ours to facilitate difficult but necessary conversations in our classrooms and provide spaces, support, and resources for Black voices.

Signed June 4, 2020

Michelle A. Holling, Incoming Program Director
Rebecca Lush, Steering Committee Member
Laurette McGuire, Outgoing Program Director
Dreama Moon, Steering Committee Member
Konane Martinez, Steering Committee Member
Jason Magabo Perez, Steering Committee Member