Resources for our readers: What you can do to support the Black Lives Matter movement

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CW: anti-Black violence and policy brutality 

Anti-Black racial violence is not solely a national issue: Anti-Black attitudes infect not just Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Louisville, Kentucky, but every American institution and locality. This includes Stanford.

In just over a month, there have been three reported instances of Stanford faculty using a racial slur in instruction. A virtual rally held on May 16 by The People’s Caucus, a Senate slate including 10 candidates of color, was Zoom-bombed by individuals directing anti-Black and anti-Semitic epithets at candidates and other rally attendees. This past summer, a noose was found on campus hanging near the Row. And these incidents do not begin to capture the historic and continuing exclusion of Black people in the student body, on faculty and in positions of power at Stanford. Certain departments, student groups and communities on campus continue to impede access to Black students. Most recently, Black students and allies have struggled to gain understanding and academic accommodations from instructors amid national turmoil that makes classwork not only more difficult, but also comparatively trivial in importance. The work of combating anti-Blackness is only the beginning.

Students and faculty of color in our community have published responses to the recent killings as well as these other incidents. Professor Hakeem Jefferson and Black Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) leadership wrote statements reflecting on the recent killings. A group of Black students published a comment on the response to a letter from the faculty directors of the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE), and The People’s Caucus authored its own response to the Zoom-bombing. These pieces are all powerful and important for us, as members of the Stanford community, to read. But they represent only the beginning of our collective education.

Although there are numerous resource lists currently circulating on social media, we assembled this non-exhaustive list specifically for the Stanford community, featuring Stanford voices and projects. In particular, we hope to highlight the scholars and efforts in place at Stanford to foster long-term engagement with the struggle for racial justice. We hope these resources help guide potential allies toward becoming anti-racist. We also hope to specifically highlight the importance of fighting the racism that impacts Black individuals at Stanford.

This is a non-exhaustive list, and we welcome any suggestions or additions. 

Read: 

Many scholars at Stanford have done extensive research on protests, police violence and the carceral state in the United States. As discussions surrounding these topics dominate the national discourse, we want to highlight this scholarship and offer readers a starting point into these growing bodies of knowledge:

It is impossible to gain a deep understanding of the history of racial violence in America and its relationship with current events without an intellectual ethic which centers the work of Black scholars. Though by no means exhaustive, below we include a list of some of the foundational scholarship in the fields of Black, postcolonial and abolitionist studies, from both Stanford professors and graduates as well as national scholars. In writing about Black identity and politics, these scholars approach the topic from different perspectives, locate different critiques and propose different visions for how to get to where we need to be. As such, they offer us a starting point into the difficult and contentious task of forging a better future. 

Contact: 

Reforming Stanford will require the support and assistance of our administration. That is why it is crucial that those of us who have the time and capacity contact faculty and administrators. 

  • Email professors and administrators to ask for increased accommodations for Black students during this time, or join this petition.
  • Call the Stanford University Department of Safety to encourage it to review its own practices and implement increased anti-racism training. Ask it to review its own affiliation with the Palo Alto Police Department, and determine whether Palo Alto’s policing practices are anti-racist and non-violent. Some examples include how it reviews all instances where force is used and how cops are trained in nonviolent policing strategies. 

Our public officials are elected and hired to represent all of us. Now, we must remind them of this commitment by calling and emailing them with explicit demands. 

Donate: 

If you are financially able, donating is one powerful way to support organizations that have been working to end police violence and elevate Black voices. Those of us with wealth privilege can make a tremendous difference by opening our wallets. To avoid flooding organizations with a large quantity of donations at the same time while ensuring a long-term commitment to the cause, set up weekly or monthly recurring donations.

Educate: 

Stanford, particularly the African and African American Studies Program, offers many classes that provide students a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of racial violence. Non-Black students in particular should commit to auditing or taking at least one of the following courses in the coming year. 

Newly added resources

This post will be updated periodically with additional resources, which will appear below.

  • Join this petition calling for academic accommodations for the rest of spring quarter 2020 (added June 3).
  • Review this playbook that gives strategies for allies to appeal to non-allies (added June 3).

A previous version of this post incorrectly spelled “Michelle” in the name of Michelle Obama. The Daily regrets this error.

The Vol. 257 Editorial Board consists of Claire Dinshaw ’21, Malavika Kannan ’23, Layo Laniyan ’22, Adrian Liu ’20 and Jasmine Liu ’20. Willoughby Winograd ’22 is also a member but voted in dissent of this opinion. Read his article here.

Contact the Vol. 257 Editorial Board at opinions ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

The Daily is committed to publishing a diversity of op-eds and letters to the editor. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Email letters to the editor to eic ‘at’ stanforddaily.com and op-ed submissions to opinions ‘at’ stanforddaily.com. 

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