Written June 3, 2020
Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
From my Heart…
I hope you are all well and I understand if you are not given the gravity of the more recent display of racism in the murders of George Floyd, Breana Taylor and Ahmaud Aubery. This and Covid 19 are weighing heavy on my heart as both have proven life threatening to Black people. It has been extremely difficult for me as an African American woman to speak and find the words to explain how this impacts me, the Black Community and those who stand with us in solidarity for justice and change. I’m outraged, saddened, hurt, angry, afraid and in the words of Fannie Lou Hammer, “sick and tired of being sick and tired”.
I’m sure that you are finding this difficult to navigate too. The killing of innocent Black lives by a police system designed to protect its citizens but built under the same system of racism should not and will not be tolerated any longer. We cannot continue to grieve and mourn the senseless deaths of our innocent brothers and sisters. How many more mothers will bury they sons and daughters? The daily assaults of racism (microaggressions) hurt and are open wounds that never heal. The pain felt can no longer be contained. The marches, protests and demonstrations are the result of that pain. This at times seems all too familiar because we have been here before. There, in the legacy of slavery and discrimination we witness countless disparities in every aspect of our society (e.g., education, health, economic, etc). We must begin to see the humanity in everyone and we have to make the changes that will eliminate systemic racism in our society.
As the Department of Equity, Leadership Studies and Instructional Technologies, we cannot stand idly by to watch as racism and systems of oppression are acted on so tragically against Black people and people of color. We stand for social justice for all and not for some. We are intentional about creating change in systems and institutions that coninually dehumanize and victimize people of color. We will not normalize that which is not. We will speak up and for those who cannot. We must act with Love first.
What we can do is be persistent in requiring that the university be accountable to equity, social justice, diversity and inclusion. Black faculty, staff and students are necessary at SFSU in every program, department and administration. Faculty and staff need to engage in more critical conversations centered on the issues of race, racism, privilege and the acceptance of others. It is needed and necessary if we are to eliminate the ugliness of racism/hatred.
So I ask that you bear with me right now because I hurt and at times I can’t move, speak or breath. The chants of Black Lives Matter are real. The pain is real. Please know that I am always here to listen or talk if you should need to or if you have questions.
With Love and In solidarity