Dear Seawolf Community,
As the president of the student body at Sonoma State University and as a white woman, I am saddened and angered by the senseless murder of George Floyd. I stand in solidarity with the movements and protests against violence toward fellow Black Americans taking place across our nation. A lot has occurred over this past week in our country due to the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and countless others (not recorded) that have died as a result of the systemic racism and oppression allowed to exist in our country. I cannot fathom the hurt and outrage Black Americans and other minoritized communities are forced to endure due to the intolerable injustice in our country. Our generation is the catalyst for the change so many generations before us have dreamed of, and the time is NOW. Please know that although we come from a variety of cultures and backgrounds, I stand with you!
Over the past week I have been asked multiple times by students, “How can I help?” First of all, those who choose to get involved;
Get active! Use your voice, your right to vote, your right to protest and demand change in our state and nation.
Educate yourself. Watch documentaries, read literature and listen to podcasts that discuss issues of systemic racism and oppression. Listen and learn from one another.
Listen and learn to be actively and vocally anti-racist.
"Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably." - NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity.
This movement is not simply a federal issue. We must work to defend the humanity of Black Americans by promoting anti-racism in all aspects of our lives. We need to work to ensure our own university provides an anti-racist campus climate that is equitable and inclusive for all students. I am currently working on setting up a session for students who would like to share their own experiences of racism and intolerance. As students of this university, we should stand together to fight against the systematic racism and oppression that has been perpetuated on black communities for more than 400 years.
As President Sakaki stated in her campus message this week titled “What happens to a dream deferred?”
“We still stand at the beginning of the long, hard journey we must walk together, hand in hand, whatever our race … We must see the journey we face with clear eyes. We cannot look away. We cannot walk away. And, we cannot be silent.”
This is not a time for silence.
I ask that you make a commitment to this quote as I have - “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change...I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” - Angela Davis
We are the generation that will change the world we live in today and will be on the right side of history. Black Lives Matter - we must take action now.
With love and solidarity,
President, Associated Students of Sonoma State University