June 3, 2020
Dear Members of the Brown Community,
The Black Student Union recognizes the significance of this moment in history, which follows the senseless killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and many others at the hands of police officers and white supremacists. As it is also Pride Month, we want to emphasize the countless Black LGBTQ+ folks who have died at the hands of police and often go unnamed. This kind of state-sanctioned violence, while shocking, is not surprising, and it only retraumatizes Black Americans, who live in constant fear.
Within the Brown community, we in the Black Student Union appreciate the various student organizations and individuals who have shown their commitment to fighting anti-Blackness and police brutality. Through donations, the spreading of information, and showing up at protests across the nation and world, you have shown us the solidarity that is indispensable during times of injustice against any group of people.
We ask that our non-Black peers continue to educate themselves on how to be better allies right now and going forward. Take time to learn the history of oppression and violence toward Black people in the US and how you can work to end it. Hold yourself and those around you accountable for fighting to end racial injustice. Place yourself in temporary discomfort to call out the racism and anti-Blackness in your social circles that has kept Black folks in discomfort for centuries. While the deaths of Black people at the hands of white supremacists and police officers are incredibly shocking, the racism that actuates perpetrators of harm is nothing new. Systems and acts of oppression are still at play, even when the effects are not visible. You must work to dismantle them every day.
The Black Student Union Executive Board is, of course, also committed to supporting our general body members during this time, as well as the protesters and other leaders that continue to fight for all of our inalienable rights. As an organization, we have several ways that we hope to help in this fight. First, we will be donating to various organizations committed to protecting and uplifting Black people, including community bail funds, Black Visions Collective, North Star Health Collective, and Reclaim the Block. We will also be including a link to a variety of resources for members of our Black community, as well as for accomplices to lend their support during this time. Lastly, we will continue to promote Black joy and celebrate the immense amount of brilliance, strength, and love that we have within our community at Brown. We hope to achieve this by posting links to mental health and educational resources for Black students and providing updates to ongoing protests and legislation on our social media accounts.
As Black feminist author Roxanne Gay states in her recent New York Times op-ed, we fight for the George Floyd’s, Breonna Taylor’s, Ahmaud Arbery’s, and Tony McDade’s of the world because “These Black lives mattered. These Black people were loved. Their losses to their friends, family, and communities, are incalculable.” We want to stress that even in the midst of so much despair, there is still so much hope for our future if we commit to working towards justice each and every day.
We will never stop fighting for Black people everywhere.
The Brown University Black Student Union
#NOJUSTICENOPEACE #SAYTHEIRNAMES #BLACKLIVESMATTER
Here is a link to letters that can be sent to family members, explaining anti-Blackness: https://lettersforblacklives.com/
Link to a compiled list of resources for donations, petitions, readings, social media accounts to follow and for Black people in mourning: https://www.adhoc.fm/post/black-lives-matter-resources-and-funds/
Virtual Mental Health Resources for Black people https://www.bonappetit.com/story/virtual-mental-health-resources