Solidarity in the Face of Anti-Black Racism
I write this missive with a heavy heart—on this, the date of an infamous massacre of hundreds of Black citizens at the hands of a racist white mob in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921. It has been one week since George Floyd was killed by white police in Minneapolis. It has been 28 years since I moved to California in the midst of protests over the brutal beating of Rodney King by militarized police in Los Angeles. Such acts of racist, state-sanctioned violence are neither exceptional nor spectacular: they are dismaying, quotidian and as such, all the more insidious and potentially soul-crushing.
Nevertheless, I think we can be heartened by the current uprisings across the globe which, as with the international anti-lynching campaign led by Ida B. Wells in the 20th century, represent a deep desire to promote human dignity with fundamental rights — for health, housing, and justice —if not for the very right to exist, to breathe.
In an Op-Ed written in this weekend’s New York Times , Roxane Gay argued that, “Eventually doctors will develop a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait for a cure for racism.” This striking juxtaposition makes us think and take notice of the seemingly changing same that is U.S. anti-Black racism. It asserts that unlike a virus, white supremacy is a system designed and upheld by numerous acts of institutional power. Gay gives voice to the numerous people who know that Black lives matter and as a result, seek to intervene in the structures that deny that ethic. It is my ardent hope that the collective actions we have witnessed this past week, this past decade, and indeed are doing this very minute, may move the few who oppress the many.
We at CCSRE recognize that anti-Black racism negatively impacts our institutions including Stanford University and are working actively to engage with students of color and Black students in particular, faculty and administrators to change the current racial order.
Let me close with a line from the poet Elizabeth Alexander, who closes the poem, “Ars Poetics #100: I Believe,” in the award-winning volume American Sublime (2005) “Poetry…is the human voice, and are we not of interest to each other?” We must learn to be of interest to each other across our divides to build a more equitable structure for our environment.
Below you will find a list of resources to start building now.
In solidarity and with sincerity,
Jennifer DeVere Brody, Faculty Director, CCSRE
- Centers for Equity, Community, and Leadership
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is available regardless of location. Students can call CAPS 24/7 at 650-723-3785.
- The Bridge Peer Counseling Center offers counseling by trained students 24/7 at 650- 723-3392.
- The Residence Deans continue to be available to undergraduates. If you are in a crisis and need immediate assistance, a Dean On Call (DOC) is available 24/7 at 650-504- 8022.
- The Office for Religious Life offers spiritual guidance for students at 650-723-1762. If you are aware of someone in distress, contact CAPS or the Office of the Dean of Students.
- Stanford community centers:
- Black Community Services Center
- Asian American Activities Center
- El Centro Chicano y Latino
- Queer Student Resources
- The Markaz: Resource Center
- Native American Cultural Center
- Women's Community Center
Resources Offered by Black Leadership in ASSU
Educational resources for anti-racism:
- Anti-racism resources for white people: Resource guide compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein for white people to deepen their anti-racist work.
- Confronting white supremacy: Educational resource sheet put together by educators to discuss and dismantle white supremacy in the classroom.
- Resource Hub for Black History and Activism: Google Drive compiled by Charles Preston, filled with books and other important work by Black activists and readings on a range of topics.
- Beyond the Hashtag: How to Take Anti-Racist Action in Your Life: Article written by Zyahna Bryant about how to take steps towards non-performative activism and anti-racist actions.
Donate to the following organizations:
- List of bail funds by city: Bail funds are a way to support frontline protesters who are being arrested - as well as building towards a movement to end cash bail and free hundreds of thousands of people who are in pre-trial detention during a pandemic.
- NorthStar Health Collective: NorthStar is a Minnesota-based street medic collective, offering first aid and medical support to people on the frontlines right now.
- Reclaim the Block: Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis community org providing supplies and support to protesters, as well as pushing Minneapolis to spend less on policing and more on healthcare, housing and education.
- The Black Visions Collective and Legal Fund: Black Visions Collective, a Black, trans and queer-led organization, is helping lead the protests and advocating to defund the police in Minnesota.
- Rebuild Lake Street: Lake Street Council is donating 100% of these proceeds to the local business and nonprofits affected by the fires and helping them continue to serve their communities.
- Resources List to Support the Minneapolis protests
- Official George Floyd Memorial Fund. Proceeds directly support George Floyd and his family.
- I Run with Maud Memorial Fund. Proceeds directly support Ahmed Aubrey and his family.
- In Memory of Tony McDade Memorial Fund. Proceeds directly support Tony McDade and his family.