The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) and International Policy Student Association (IPSA), two longstanding Ford School student organizations, have released statements of solidarity with the Black community and the movements for Black lives. We share them, unedited and unabridged, below.
After the publication of this news, additional Ford School student organizations released statements of solidarity. You can read those statements here:
Statement of solidarity from Student Affairs Committee
Black. Lives. Matter. Read those three words one more time, but this time out loud.
We acknowledge that reading this message may add to the pain of Black people and the people of color reading them. We want to recognize the burden that Black people carry in their everyday lives and the added burden living in a pandemic that has further exposed our system of inequality. As a community of future and current policy makers we need to hold ourselves accountable through tangible methods of action and execution.
The Student Affairs Committee stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We acknowledge the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, and Tony McDade and the many lost to police violence and white supremacy before them. These deaths are not moments of isolation but a domino effect of racist policies, institutions and culture that many of us benefit from - including non-Black POC. In 2020, the country we live in is one that is plagued with a history and current reality of systematic racial violence.
What has happened is a series of traumatic events that has deep roots in the communities we live in. Behind the professionalism and candor of our peers, friends, and colleagues, are humans with tight lipped smiles and held back tears. It is important to recognize the anger, sorrow, and despair within our community. We want to validate these emotions, especially of the Black people in our community, and emphasize that you are not alone. We will commit to our anti-racist sentiments with critical action and thought.
We commit to:
- Pushing the Ford School administration to institute mandatory anti-racism trainings and adding class options regarding America’s racist history and other international examples of ethnic privilege, oppression, and structural discrimination to the Ford School curriculum
- Collecting and distributing resources to the student body to educate our White and non-Black POC peers about historical racism and injustice today
- Hearing and acting on your concerns and comments regarding the way students and administration are addressing white supremacy and racist violence on campus and beyond. Please use this Google form to voice your thoughts to the SAC DEI Chair, Sharanya Pai.
- Distributing mental health resources for folks to reflect and engage in self care at this gut-wrenching time
We recognize that none of this is enough to dismantle generations of racist history and systems in this country. But we are committed to do the above and more to support and stand with and act with our Black community. As such, we will be continuing to send educational information and resources to improve individual accountability and promote tangible action via email and Slack.
For now, here is a list of resources:
- Anti-Police Brutality Struggles - Ann Arbor/Detroit Area
Purpose: This is a crowd-sourced, live list of events and information regarding local struggles against police brutality in the Washtenaw County area -- for GEO members or anyone else interested in getting involved.
- Anti Racism Resources
Purpose: This document is intended to serve as a resource to white people, non black poc, and parents to deepen our anti-racism work. If you haven’t engaged in anti-racism work in the past, start now.
- 2020 BLM Resource Guide
Purpose: Provide mental health resources, anti-racist resources, places to donate, links to petitions and contacts, and more.
- May/June MN Bail Fund and Donation/ Volunteer Support List (Updated Daily)
Purpose: A comprehensive list of individual funds, grass-roots organizations, non-profits, activist groups, lawyers, local businesses, and a national list.
- Anti-Racism & BLM Educational Resources
Purpose: A list of Books, Books for kids, TV, Articles, Podcasts, and Videos
In solidarity today and always,
The Student Affairs Committee
Black lives matter: a message from IPSA
Dear friends, colleagues, and members of the International Policy Student Association (IPSA):
Over the past week, we have witnessed rightful global outrage over the brutal and horrific murders of Black civilians at the hands of police brutality and systemic racism that are entrenched throughout our society. We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless others who have been killed due to senseless police violence and white supremacy.
The systems of colonialism, imperialism, and racism that were the basis for the creation of this country continue to be present in the systems of police violence, mass incarceration, economic and environmental oppression, disenfranchisement, and other tools of subjugation. The United States government has long used its intelligence agencies and the police to silence voices of dissent from the Black community and communities of color, both domestically and internationally. These brutal systems must end.
We stand in solidarity with the Black community and all those who are standing up for justice at this moment. Demonstrations across the globe, in the midst of a pandemic, indicate the severity of this issue. What’s more, they serve to show a loss of trust in our public institutions as a result of the continued failings of our government to adequately protect and serve its citizens, particularly members of the Black community.
We call upon members of our community to channel the justified hurt, frustration, and outrage they feel into collective action. We encourage participation in marches that continue to take place across the country and the world. We encourage participation in holding institutions and elected officials accountable at all levels, both inside and outside of government. We encourage financial contributions to organizations actively working against anti-blackness and for racial justice in this country, as well as financial contributions to black-owned businesses that have been disproportionately affected by the ongoing pandemic.
As an organization, we commit to incorporating anti-racist action into our programming and discussing systemic racism and anti-blackness on a global scale. As part of this commitment, IPSA will launch a Decolonize International Policy series this fall, featuring programs and speakers discussing the necessary decoupling of colonization rhetoric and practices from international policy.
We recognize that many comprehensive lists and resources on taking action, both in our community and across our country, have been widely distributed across listservs and social media platforms. In place of adding to or replicating these efforts, we invite our white, white-passing, and non-black friends, colleagues, and members to take the following individual actions in service of the collective:
- Listen to the perspectives of Black people with an open mind
- Challenge implicit biases you may hold and reflect upon how you may benefit from oppressive systems
- Amplify and center Black voices
- Recognize the difference between the intent of your words and the impact of your words
- Make space for difficult conversations with your family and friends
- Continue to educate yourself, especially after making a mistake
- Advocate for Black people by holding others accountable for racist language and behavior
- Diversify the media, authors, artists, and news you consume
- Show up for racial justice by joining organizations focused on fighting systemic inequality
The road to racial justice and equity is long, but we cannot stop fighting until we dismantle the racist and oppressive foundations on which America stands.
IPSA Executive Board