We are calling on all members of the UC Davis community. The recent murders of Black people and the subsequent lack of justice served to their killers, which has been widely publicized within media and social networks, portrays a microcosm of the systemic and institutional racism that continues to persist in our society. These tragedies along with discourse that has followed have profoundly impacted many students, faculty, staff, and alumni of UC Davis. During these particular devastating times, the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center stands with you.
Black lives matter.
These words are more than a hashtag, a trend, or a headline. As Alicia Garza, one of the creators of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, states, “Black Lives Matter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.”
Black lives matter. Black trans lives matter. Black queer lives matter. Black differently abled lives matter. These words are the foundation of resistance made tangible by those who have been historically marginalized in our society and still to overcome oppression. Those who have been distorted in the media, lives written off, whose voices have been silenced this day, the people upon whose backs this country was built and is carried. The loss of lives and continued violence are not isolated incidents. They are a part of a larger system with its own history that has become institutionalized. These oppressions permeate through all of our public and private institutions, including the judicial, health/medical, economic, political, and educational systems. They are the result of colonialism, racist ideologies, white supremacy and practices perpetuated in its support i.e. gentrification and marginalization. These systems affect all members of our community, and therefore everyone should embrace their own responsibility to think critically, to question, to learn, to challenge, and to heal.
We recognize those who came before us, and the UC Davis Cross Cultural Center’s history which is grounded in social justice action and activism. It has been two and a half decades since people decided to go on a hunger strike together on the steps of Mrak Hall to combat racism on our campus. There have been many powerful student demonstrations for community healing and peaceful protest. The struggle continues with us, and we support students who are exercising their right to create action.
Many lives have been lost thus our actions must continue well beyond letter writing. We call on our campus and community partners to take action and sustain dialogue, as well as join us in the following:
- Educate yourself by actively and respectfully participating in critical conversation within and beyond the academic institution with the intention of bringing about a positive change in our nation
- Do not be complacent; be an intentional advocate and enlighten those around you
- Practice self-care, as mental health and wellness are important parts of the process
Now is a time to be creative and bold, to take risks, to act accountably, and to prepare for sustained struggle for racial justice. We can be complacent and do nothing, or address the injustice in our own backyards.
The UC Davis Cross Cultural Center
Abire Sabbagh, Aditi Shakkarwar, Amanda Ong, Briana Rivas, Brianna Vargas, crystal marich, Daniel Cardenas, Danielle Soba, Donald Yu, Dorothy Hoang, Dulce G. Gonzalez, Esther Priscilla Ebuehi, Fong Tran, Francisco Gomez, Gabriela Preciado, Griscel Lopez, Heriberto Soto, Irum Ahmed, Jasmine Garcia, Jenny Huynh, Jess Galicia, Jessica Marquez, Joanna Jaroszewska, Karla Ocampo, Koby Rodriguez, Kriti Garg, Lamia Hajani, Lorena Castillo, Lucian Novosel, Marcela Alvarez, Maria Salazar, Mariah Watson, Michael Yepez , Miranda Bard, Nathan Ellstrand, Nilofer Chollampat, Pranay Kejriwal, Sam Alavi, sensze yang, Steven Baissa, Syazana Hisham, Theodore Mitchell, Zaharina Velazquez-Ramos