To the African Diaspora within the Stanford community:
Between 1882 and 1968, the United States recorded nearly 5,000 lynchings, of which the overwhelming majority of the victims were Black. As terrifying and horrific as those figures are, lynchings are not occurrences of the forgotten past, but a matter of our present reality with investigations into possible lynchings being conducted as recently as 2018. Nooses are not merely symbols of vile hatred but are tools of physical and psychological violence and terror. Knowing that the traumas our communities endure as the result of domestic terror are often dismissed, trivialized, and disregarded, Stanford University’s failure to swiftly inform its student body of the presence of a noose on campus is not surprising. Not surprising, but still stress inducing, irresponsible, negligent, and deeply hurtful.
We write to reaffirm our commitment to you – the Black students, faculty, and staff of Stanford University. Our mission and values as Black organizations on Stanford’s campus are deeply grounded in empowering, mentoring, and supporting our peers of Afro-descent, through programming dedicated to:
- Creating opportunities for collaboration and engagement among Black communities on Stanford’s campus and beyond.
- Demanding that the voices of Black students are included in the governance and proceedings of the university.
- Developing student-led programs and initiatives that foster learning and camaraderie among Black students.
- Empowering Black students to emerge into leadership roles and use their voices to transform campus spaces.
- Ensuring that Black people on Stanford’s campus are both valued and protected.
The present political landscape of the United States demands both engagement and self-preservation on the part of Black people, but so does the present state of Stanford’s campus. We recognize that more often than not actions that are misidentified as mere “symbols of hatred” have continued to be employed as tools of physical and emotional violence against our communities. We acknowledge and stand in solidarity with those who fight against injustice in all its manifestations. These are not limited to the noose on our campus, but also the daily macro- and micro-aggressions we face. Additionally, we recognize that the recent anti-Black events that have occurred on our campus have been felt at both the individual and collective level. As such, we release this statement of solidarity to our community during this time of political, intellectual, social, and ideological violence to reassure you that you are not alone. We see you, we hear you, and we are here for you.
Each of our organizations are dedicated to supporting Black people at Stanford and encourage each of you to continue to use your voice to attain justice. We do not claim to have all the answers, but our aim is to let you know that we stand ready to and will proactively address the events at hand by demanding accountability, communication, and resources from Stanford’s administration in the coming days.
Above all else, we encourage you to engage in self-preservation practices in this present moment and want to assert our dedication to you, as Black people, as we work together to build both community and to advocate for our community’s best interests. We look forward to continued engagement and dialogue as a community during this tumultuous time. This is not temporary solidarity; we are committed to sustained dialogue and community-building. In the meantime, please see and make use of the following resources available to members of the Black community listed below:
- CAPS Connects for the Black Community – Through this resource members of our community can make an appointment to speak with a Black CAPS staff member for 30 minutes. Appointments can be made through the Vaden Health portal.
- Black Community Services Center – Members of our community are encouraged to use the BCSC as a resource for any social or academic support that they need in the present or future. The Black House also serves as a haven for reflection and solace.
- Black Voluntary Student Organizations – We encourage you to continue engaging in critical reflection about these and other experiences at Stanford with members of your respective BVSOs. We must love and support one another in this space.
- The Graduate Life Office is available during office hours at (650) 736-7078, or 24/7 at (650) 723-8222, pager ID number 25085
- The Office of Student Affairs is available during office hours at (650) 725-5555.
With love and kinship,
Stanford Black Graduate Student Association
Black Engineering Graduate Student Association
Society of Black Scientists and Engineers
Stanford Black Postdocs Association
Black Law Students Association
Black Pre-Law Society
Student National Medical Association
Stanford Black Pre-Med Organization
Black Business Student Association
Xi Beta, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Lambda Nu Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
Stanford Black Student Union
Caribbean Students Association
Stanford African Students’ Association
Stanford Black Bioscience Organization
Stanford Nigerian Students Association
Stanford Ethiopian and Eritrean Students’ Association
Omicron Chi, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Nu Sigma, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc