A Statement from the Center for Social Justice June 2, 2020
Our hearts are heavy, our fists are clenched, our voices shout in unison: BLACK LIVES MATTER. No uplifting quotation, words of wisdom, or eloquently crafted statement can convey what those three words can in the wake of the recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, Nina Pop, and the continued police violence against people protesting that we have directly experienced and indirectly witnessed this past week.
As we hold their sacred names in reverence, we are aware of the many other fellow human beings of color who have been needlessly brutalized by state violence and systemic racism over the centuries on our Georgetown University campus, in our home city, and in the United States. We see this systemic racism in educational inequity, in criminal injustice, in poverty, in immigration policies, and in health disparities, including with the COVID-19 pandemic that is taking a majority toll on Black and Brown communities. Our Black brothers and sisters, our Black colleagues, and our Black students continue to burden the action and the anger, in the face of oppression. The time for the transformation of an unjust system upheld by white privilege is now. As social justice educators at an elite, predominantly white institution that was built and saved by the labor and lives of enslaved people, we all have a duty and a responsibility to protect Black lives simply for the fact that they are human beings.
We at the Center for Social Justice remain unwavering in our commitments to racial justice and radical love. We will intensify our actions for justice in our everyday work of research, teaching, and service and our long-term vision for social change alongside our students, faculty, youth, families, and diverse communities across DC and this country.
We will work together with all of you, especially our activist students of color, who are dismantling white supremacy and anti-Black racism. We will demand that our white and non-Black students, faculty, and staff members recognize our internalized racism and anti-Blackness, and that silence is violence. CSJ believes in a different and better future, one that comes as a result of collectively and continuously demanding it from one another and from the institutions of this country responsible for administering justice, including higher education. Georgetown University is our shared community and thus it is our collective responsibility to fight for justice. #BlackLivesMatter #DefendBlackLife #DefundPolice
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