Over the past week, we have all watched more sanctioned violence against Black bodies. We have watched protesters organize across our country to demand justice for #GeorgeFloyd #BreonnaTaylor #AhmaudArbery and all the other Black lives we have lost that we know by name and the ones we will never know. We have seen the police respond violently to those protests. Some of us participated and/or know loved ones who placed their lives on the line to let their voices be heard. We mourn with those grieving and support the protesters who have gathered across the country demanding justice for Black lives.We affirm the lives of all Black people and stand in direct opposition to the narratives and stories that suggest that we are not worthy of dignified and humane treatment by our government. Black people in America live in a constant state of violence and threat to our bodies. This violence is not only present in interactions with the police but in our healthcare, education, housing, justice, child welfare, and financial systems. As an organization, we know that racism is the root cause of this violence and we stand in opposition to that. We believe:
- All people are worthy of experiences and opportunities that honor the equal value of their lives and enable them to reach their full potential.
- Education needs to be transformed and has the power to be transformative.
- Students, parents, and community members are the most critical assets for building a more just Durham.
- Building an equitable Durham is a shared responsibility and our entire community must participate in this work.
We fight for them.We are committed to the never-ending work of using a racial equity lens in all of our work and will do our part to dismantle systems of oppression. Here are a few ways you can continue to be a partner in this work.
TALK with your circles of influence about systemic racism. Sign up for virtual caucusing space for white people in our community. We believe in and offer this space to move white people from outrage and outcry to action without taxing People of Color and especially Black folks in this moment.
READ to deepen your understanding of the history of race and racism. (An Antiracist Reading List)
GIVE TO and follow Durham social justice and racial equity organizations who are leading work on the ground (BYP 100, Village of Wisdom, we are, Emancipate NC, and NC Community Bail Fund). We believe that investing in People of Color-led institutions and buying Black and Brown is a vital part of our fight against systemic racism.
ORGANIZE AND VOTE. Policies have created these conditions in our country. Voting gives us the power to change them.We implore you to translate your outrage and outcry to sustained actions. That is what this moment deserves. Our children’s lives and futures depend on it. In solidarity,
The Student U Team