CEC Letter of Support for Black Lives Matter

C/W: Racial Violence, White Supremacy, Anti-Blackness

Dear Friends,

The Community Engagement Center stands in solidarity with protesters across the globe against state-sanctioned murder perpetrated by US police on black bodies. We see you. We hear you. We are mourning with you. We are accountable and we have a social responsibility to take immediate and sustained action.

Black Lives Matter.
Black lives are more important than things.
Businesses can rebuild. People cannot be unmurdered.

These and all Black lives are precious:

·         #+

·         #BothamJean 

·         #AtatianaJefferson

·         #JonathanFerrell 

·         #RenishaMcBride

·         #StephonClark.

·         #JordanEdwards

·         #JordanDavis

·         #AltonSterling

·         #AiyanaJones

·         #MikeBrown

·         #TamirRice

·         #Charleston9

·         #TrayvonMartin

·         #SeanBell

·         #OscarGrant

·         #SandraBland

·         #PhilandoCastile

·         #CoreyJones

·         #JohnCrawford

·         #TerrenceCrutcher

·         #KeithScott

·         #CliffordGlover

·         #ClaudeReese

·         #RandyEvans

·         #YvonneSmallwood

·         #AmadouDiallo

·         #WalterScott

·         #EricGarner

·         #FreddieGray

·         #ChristianCooper

·         #BreonnaTaylor

·         #GeorgeFloyd

White supremacy is here and we recognize that we cannot be neutral. And we would like to caution folks that the particular brand of white liberalism that the Claremont colleges are known for is just as violent and dangerous as overt white supremacy – and is certainly more widespread.

Let us decide as a community that we will do what it takes to demand it stop and end it’s spread. If you are white, this means make a commitment to read up and learn more about structural racism, personal and institutional bias, and what actions you can take to be a true ally. Remember that true allies take action, are accountable, and would never put people in further danger. Teach your kids/ parents, talk to your neighbors, help your families and friends grow through the hard lessons, challenge harmful comments, jokes, and ideas. Understand the impacts of policies and practices which perpetuate inequality – where you have power and privilege, use it to make equity-based decisions. Reflect on your own actions and thoughts. Do not make your Black and POC colleagues carry the labor to make change and educate others on top of holding the weight of these experiences. HOLD THE POLICE AND OTHERS ACCOUNTABLE FOR KILLING PEOPLE. 

We as a loving community, need to do better because this just cannot keep happening.

If you are reading this and wondering why it so focused on what white people can and should do it is because whiteness has inherent privilege that even it wasn’t asked for is still afforded time after time. On a macro-level, we are all embedded with white supremacist notions simply because we are in this system and institutions which repeatedly centers and values whiteness and white people benefit from this system which was set up long ago but is currently maintained. This way of framing can help folks respond less to emotional feelings of white guilt which aren’t helpful and to an orientation of accountability. A reframing of what will *I* do to help change an inequitable system, one in which our black and brown loved ones are being murdered? It takes each of us trying to learn and grow, to listen to and believe POC, and be actionable allies however we can. Which also means white people growing through the discomfort of knowing we are also part of system of racism and that white people are needed to do anti-racist work as an extension of that responsibility and accountability for changing a system that benefits them particularly as white people.

In addition to the letter written by the student senate which includes excellent information and links, we are sharing more resources for working on our own bias below:

·         A short video by PBS explaining implicit bias

·         Test yourself for hidden bias

·         75 things white people can do for racial justice

·         A new way to combat bias at work

·         Theory of double consciousness

·         What is white privilege really

·         Antiracism resources for white people

·         The liberal Amy Cooper is a terrorist

·         White allyship

·         Protesting is not the problem

·         Talking to kids about racism

·         The Nanci Luna Jimenez Institute

·         The Highlander Research and Education Center

·         The Center for Courage and Renewal

 Lastly, we want to acknowledge that not everyone is made for the frontline, so don’t feel guilty if you can’t! This goes out especially to people with disabilities, the chronically ill and their caretakers, nurses/doctors, grocery store workers, farmworkers, undocumented folks, and all other essential persons.

✔️ THERE ARE MANY OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT ✔️

💸 Donate to a BAIL FUND in your area or around the country
💊 Donate MEDICAL SUPPLIES to people working as medics at the protests
🥩 FEED PEOPLE – buy food and water, or make food, and donate it to those who are part of or affected by the protests
🥛 VOLUNTEER at non-hot zone areas to supply food and water
📢 Continue to EDUCATE the people around you – this is also emotional labor
🚗 PICK UP people from the hot-zone if they need it
🐥 Offer to WATCH KIDS if their parents are organizers and need to be on the frontline
🚨 CONFRONT RACISM wherever you see it, online and with family/friends
📲 SHARE LINKS to every resource for protestors you can find – bail funds, information for those arrested, safety precautions, updates for those in your area, etc
💰 DONATE directly to frontline people and organizations
🖋 WRITE articles and blog posts in support of the ongoing protests
📣 ORGANIZE on your jobs and in your communities for fair and equitable practices
🛌 REST is revolutionary and inherently anti-capitalist too, so do your best to rest when you can, and take care of yourself and those around you as much as possible.

With love and care,

THE STAFF OF THE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT CENTER