Black Rams Matter: A Joint Statement from the Key Communities and Community for Excellence
On behalf of the Key Communities and Community for Excellence at Colorado State University, we want to express our anger about the violence and hate that have taken the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery. We recognize that these are just a few of the names of individuals recently killed due to racism and anti-Blackness. We share in solidarity with those protesting nationwide demanding racial justice and ending discrimination and police brutality. We recognize that the protests are not just because another Black life was ended due to senseless violence, but because there should be no lives lost in this way and yet there have been far too many. We also recognize that more lives will be lost if we don’t begin to speak out and stand with the Black community who experience the daily pain of ongoing systemic racism, anti-Blackness, and violence. We know that racism is not just a part of our history, but is intentionally deeply embedded within our society and is now pervasive throughout our current reality. The recent racialized killings have put an important spotlight on how deeply infuriating these injustices are and the impact it has on communities of color, especially for our Black faculty, staff, students, friends and family. We also recognize that our campus community is not immune from anti-Blackness, racism, and injustice and that we have much work to do locally as well.
Key and C4E’s missions are to serve students with diverse identities, with many of our students identifying as students of color and/or first generation to attend college. We are committed to creating and nurturing inclusive environments that welcome, value and affirm the diverse identities of our students, with particular attention to those who have been historically, and in many ways still are, inequitably served by our institution and larger society. We are committed to addressing the systemic challenges that continue to impact access, retention, persistence and graduation for marginalized students. We are committed to building holistic relationships with students that honor their identities and experiences.
To fulfill these commitments, the Key Communities and Community for Excellence staff will continue to:
- Diligently work to learn, and unlearn, our own internalized biases and oppressive beliefs and attitudes.
- Center the experiences of the students least well-served by our institution in our program design and implementation.
- Hire, retain, and create the conditions to support and invest in professional and student staff whose identities represent our diverse student population.
- Allocate our resources centering principles of educational equity.
- Use our voices and positionality to challenge and disrupt anti-Blackness and systemic oppression at CSU.
As we grapple with the senseless loss of life and ongoing systemic racism, we are ultimately committed to listen, to learn, and to be in community together. We share the words of the Office of the Vice President for Diversity in Black Rams Matter: A Note of Solidarity. To our Black and African American faculty, staff, students, friends and family, we see you, we are here for you, and we stand with you.