Response to Black Lives Matter

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*Content Warning: The following message contains language that some may find triggering, as it pertains to the murder of George Floyd, police brutality, and pervasive, systemic racism. Please know that counseling services are available virtually for Cal Poly students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by calling 805-756-2511. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential counseling services to all Cal Poly employees and their families. Please call their 24-hour support hotline at 800-367-7474.

Dear Cal Poly Community,

This week, we were devastated to learn of yet another black life lost to police brutality. George Floyd was a father, a brother, a friend, and a community member. His murder is another example of the systemic racism that continues to plague our country, and we must do better. We must not forget about Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other black lives that have been lost to police violence. The reoccurring and constant examples of police violence against members of our black community are inexcusable, and we all must recognize the inherent white supremacy in our world and commit to its eradication.

In this time, our hearts go out to all subjected to violence due to their skin color, especially the black community. To all of our black peers in the Cal Poly community: we will never know the pain that your community is going through, but we will stand by you and will to the best of our ability use our platform to amplify your voices. We stand with George Floyd’s family and those calling for justice.

Yet our empathy is not enough, not near enough. As a predominately white institution, it is the responsibility of each and every member of this community to educate ourselves, practice active allyship, and realize that unless we work to be actively anti-racist, we contribute to the problem. It is no longer enough to offer our condolences — we must take action.

We urge those on our campus to take action today by participating in any of the following:

Allyship and Education

There are many resources to review to better understand privilege, institutions of power, and the oppression of black and brown communities. Below are a few resources helpful in starting the conversation about what it means to be an ally, and how you can best support marginalized groups in our communities. Again, we encourage you to do your own research to continue this conversation to further understand how to be anti-racist.

Self-Care

The lack of collective grieving spaces for this time of immense trauma is upsetting. It is important to take the essential time and space to process and love oneself during this stressful and deeply saddening time.

Giving

We understand that this is already a financially challenging time for many in our community. For those that are able, we encourage you to give to one of the following organizations, or research others that are meaningful to you:

We understand that we are a predominantly white organization, but we are committed to being better, louder, and stronger allies than ever before. We understand putting out a statement does not change what is happening in our country. Looking ahead next year’s ASI Executive Cabinet has a position committed to working with all entities involved in public safety to ensure they are able to adequately protect our most vulnerable students. Additionally, we will continue to work with ASI management to ensure that ongoing and meaningful ally training is provided for all ASI Student Government members and ASI full-time staff and student employees.

Finally, we really want to share an amazing Linktree created by Cal Poly student Leilani Hemmings-Pallay (@nani.isabelle). It gathers links to donate to, as well as other resources such as resource guides and a directory of solidarity demonstrations. Please share this out but be sure to give credit to Leilani.

In solidarity,

ASI Student Government