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Black Lives Matter, Message From LBST

April 21, 2021

Dear Liberal Studies students,

It has been almost a year since our nation started experiencing in earnest the beginnings (again) of a fight against systemic racism, injustice, and violence against Black people specifically, and People of Color in general. To echo the words of CSUSM Pres. Neufeldt and CHABSS Interim Dean Matthews, yesterday’s verdict of guilty in the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is a critical step toward accountability and working toward justice. At the same time, we continue to grieve and witness the ongoing loss of Black lives, and acts of “violence against Asians, indigenous people, trans people, and other traditionally marginalized groups.”

Most of you have chosen to be Liberal Studies majors because you want to be educators, because you care about people and social justice, about the next generation of students and generations after that. Each of us must examine our roles and responsibilities in helping to dismantle systemic oppression, both as individuals and especially as educators. We need to continue the work of learning and stepping up to create a just and fair world for all of us. As educators, this is especially critical. We cannot create classrooms which support the flourishing of whole people - the flourishing of all of our students as whole people - unless we come to understand how injustice is perpetuated, and work to dismantle those systems within ourselves and our communities, regardless of their makeup.

Below are some resources and opportunities to become involved and educate ourselves further:

• You can contact Student Health and Counseling Services for a range of services. The Cougar Care Network can also provide information about on- and off- campus resources.
• The Black Student Center, along with all of our Student Life Centers for Inclusion, Identity and Empowerment (Cross-Cultural Center, Gender Equity Center, Latinx Center, LGBTQA Pride Center) are staffed by professional and student staff members who offer their support and solidarity.
• APIDA (Asian Pacific Islander Desi American) Anti-Racism and Cultural Awareness Resources
Read about the history of policing, “rioting” and protest, and Black oppression in the U.S.
Listen to the Black community and define your internal commitments to change
Learn how to recognize your privilege and use that privilege to join anti-racism efforts
Books to read
• Organizations to follow on Instagram: @teachersforblacklives; @csusmfutureed

In solidarity,
Nicoleta Bateman
Chair, Liberal Studies Department