Dear Triton Community,
We are saddened and outraged and join with the families and nation to mourn the tragic and unjust killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, Breonna Taylor in Kentucky, and Manuel Ellis in Washington. Around the nation and world, people are incensed, grieving, and standing up to denounce police brutality and racism. They are marching, protesting, sending money to support protesters, writing letters, and calling on their institutions to take a stand.
As leaders of the Edmonds College community, we unequivocally denounce racism, bigotry, police brutality, acts of racial violence, and other injustices. We acknowledge that it is imperative that we speak out and demand justice for the Black lives lost as a result of police brutality and anti-Blackness.
Acts of violence persist in the U.S. because systemic racism and oppression plague our nation. Within our institutions and society, Black people continue to be oppressed, criminalized, and denied their basic human rights. These acts of racial violence against Black people are ingrained in the fabric of this nation and will persist until we dismantle systemic injustices.
In order to address systemic racism and create sustainable antiracist solutions at Edmonds College, we must acknowledge the trauma, stress, and anxiety that Black students, faculty, staff, and the Black community are experiencing. Our Black students are continuing to attend school and are expected to excel even though they are deeply impacted. Black employees are still required to be productive and go to work even though they are stressed and concerned about their health and safety. Black people have made the decision to engage in marches, protests, writing campaigns, and many other activities and events that raise their stress and anxiety levels and put them in unsafe spaces. These are experiences that White people may not understand because of their White privilege. With this knowledge, it would be negligent for our institution not to take a public stance.
As leaders of our campus community, we must create a safe space for Black students, employees, and other minoritized groups to share their concerns, experiences, and suggestions on how to address racial inequities; hire, maintain, and promote Black faculty and staff; evaluate and interrogate policies and procedures that perpetuate institutional racism to eliminate barriers; invest more in professional development focused on eliminating racism, bias, and other forms of discrimination; create space for feedback; and consistently demand accountability.
We know this work has already proven itself to be challenging, but in order to truly create transformative change on our campus, antiracism work must be a focal point. We must remain vigilant and hopeful. We unwaveringly stand in solidarity and declare that Black Lives Matter. Standing up and taking action is not an option; it's a moral imperative.
Dr. Yvonne Terrell-Powell
Vice President, Equity and Inclusion Division
firstname.lastname@example.org | 425.640.1456
Executive Assistant to the Vice President
email@example.com | 425.640.1340
Program Manager, Equity and Inclusion Division
Arts, Culture, and Civic Engagement (ACCE)