Letter of Support to Our Students
The African American Studies Department at Cal State Fullerton stands with our students and the greater Black student body during these times. We know Black students and their families continue to experience persistent forms of anti-Black racism and violence on and off our campus, which was highlighted during the BSU Town Hall last fall.
The recent police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery have sparked national outrage, grief, and protest, and have hit close to home for many of us. We know that students must feel welcome, safe, heard, and valued in order for them to succeed at their fullest capacity. We recognize these events have been emotionally draining for our students and in many cases negatively affected their ability to succeed academically. This is true especially coming during the trauma and stress produced by COVID-19, which disproportionately affects Black communities.
We are committed as ever to our department’s mission of valuing our students, enhancing knowledge pertaining to the histories and contributions of Black people, and creating transformative spaces of healing and institutional change. The causes of this violence against Black communities are rooted in white supremacist ideals and actions, anti-Black racism, misogyny, homophobia, ableism, and colonialism. We fight against these forms of oppression in our research, teaching, and service semester after semester.
We are determined to continue empowering our students, and each other, through our courses, community events, and strategic partnerships. We are confident that our administration will continue to expand their commitment to justice and equality by supporting our department’s on-going, student-centered initiatives this fall. The voices of outrage and heartache must translate into resolute action and sustained support for us and our students.