CCIE Response to George Floyd Verdict

Today, we have learned that Derek Chauvin has been found guilty of the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man in Minneapolis, MN. The pain and anger at George Floyd’s violent and senseless murder at the hands of the police has reverberated around the world. Derek Chauvin is being held responsible for his actions. Today’s guilty verdict does not erase the historical legacy and present reality of ongoing police violence that continues to destroy Black lives. Nor does it ensure that justice will be served for the Black and Brown adults and children who continue to be brutalized and killed by police across the country. 

Our communities are grappling with grief, anger, and fear at the continued and mounting violence that is directed at Black, Brown, Indigenous, API communities, and other marginalized groups. And we acknowledge that this violence has come at the hands of the police and other community members; it is rooted in white supremacy and systemic oppression.  

This letter is a call to action. We acknowledge that one death due to police violence is too many, and the disproportionate number of deaths of unarmed Black people is an injustice that must not be ignored. We recognize as an institutional committee that upholds the charge of creating intentional safe spaces for communities of color, that our outrage is not enough. As a learning institution, we recognize that statements alone do not address this ongoing crisis that has been playing out locally, statewide, and nationally. People of color—Black, Brown, Indigenous, and Asian Pacific Islander descent; children, youth, and adults are murdered with impunity by state-sanctioned violence. Our current reality springs directly from the atrocities of slavery and colonialism. These manifestations of white supremacy continue through the institutions and societal norms that perpetuate a system that privileges white communities at the expense of others. Understanding this historical truth, we must ask ourselves what will be our role as this present becomes the history of our descendants? Who are we, Saint Mary's College of California, as a community and a Catholic, Lasallian, Liberal Arts institution of learning? What do our mission and principles call us to do in this moment?  Are we truly committed to what it means to respect all persons and attend to social justice as we work to promote the safety and well-being of Black communities and other Communities of Color? 

As members of the College Committee on Inclusive Excellence, we recognize that there will be more letters written by people in our community expressing their thoughts on the verdict. We challenge Saint Mary’s College staff, faculty, alums, and friends to take concrete action to address inequities on campus and in our wider society. Here are some examples: 

  • A commitment to confirming our status as a sanctuary school, protecting our students from both the police department and ICE.

  • Provide our entire SMC community with mental health support, services, and resources as we navigate multiple unjust systems, events, and disasters. This can be done through partnering with on-campus departments and programs as well as bay area agencies.

  • A commitment to action that examines the university's relationship with our Office of Public Safety and local Moraga Police. We have an enormous responsibility as we look to hire our next Executive Director of Public Safety and strengthen town-and-gown relations.

  • Over one hundred faculty and staff participated in GUIDE workshops this year. What is your plan next year to participate in the workshops? Do you have a workshop to offer to your colleagues that will advance our understanding around equity and social justice? 

  • How are we collectively working to address the 20 Demands as presented by the BSU, Black Lives Matter, and Ethnic Studies? 

  • How do we actualize anti-racism in ourselves? Are you intervening when you witness injustice?

The CCIE invites our campus community to continue the conversation—to ask questions, reflect, and be intentional with engaging with this kind of self and community work toward a more equitable world. We can move to take significant action toward positive, true, and sustainable change throughout the Saint Mary’s community.  

Below, we have provided some resources for you to gain knowledge and get involved. Let us continue to march toward justice for our students, our families, our community, and ourselves.

Resources:

Utilize:

Counseling and Psychological Services on Campus: Please call us at 925-631-4364 or email caps4364@stmarys-ca.edu to make an appointment. You can also schedule non-urgent appointments online by clicking on the "Online Scheduling" button on our homepage.

CAPS Healing Circle: This drop-in group is for African American and Black identified students. It meets Wednesday’s from 1-2 via Zoom: https://bit.ly/3pw0r6m

Utilize CCIE email for any questions, comments, or concerns around DEI initiatives on campus: askccie@stmarys-ca.eu

To report a bias incident or hate crime through BIRT, please click here

Mental Health America: Directory of therapists for BIPOC and QPOC individuals

Attend an SMC event, Wed April 21st, 7 pm - Perceptions: Moving Beyond Victim Blaming

How do our perceptions impact the way we treat others and the way we show up in any given situation? From racial profiling to the way we respond to victims of gender-based violence, perceptions left unchecked can contribute to the stereotypes to acts of violence to victim-blaming. Join Wanda Johnson, Executive Director of the Oscar Grant Foundation, and Cynthia Peterson, Executive Director of Community Violence Solutions, in this conversation about intersectional dynamics of perceptions as they relate to our gender, racial, and intersectional identities, and ways that we can challenge ourselves and our communities to be allies to each other.

East Bay Meditation Center: https://eastbaymeditation.org/

55 Mental Health Resources for People of Color: https://www.onlinemswprograms.com/resources/social-issues/mental-health-resources-racial-ethnic-groups/

The Niroga Institute

www.SoundsTrue.com

www.DharmaSeed.org

www.RealizeYouCan.com

Donate + Support: 

Support Chyna, Daunte Wright’s girlfriend, and their child, Daunte Jr:

CashApp: $hubby98

Venmo: @Chyna-W-1

The Daunte Wright Senior Memorial Fund on GoFundMe — Organized by Daunte’s Aunt, and supported by various family members. These funds will help with funeral and burial expenses, mental health and grief counseling, support for Daunte’s infant son, and to help the Wright family in their fight for justice.

The Bail Project https://bailproject.org/

The Black Bay Area https://www.theblackbayarea.org/

Nationwide Bail Fund https://secure.actblue.com/donate/bail_funds_george_floyd

Fund for Gianna Floyd (George Floyd’s daughter): https://www.gofundme.com/f/gianna-floyd-daughter-of-george-floyd-fund

Listen/Watch: 

Black Lives Matter Meditations

https://www.drcandicenicole.com/post/2016-07-black-lives-matter-meditation

 Liberate App: “The daily meditation app for us, by us. A safe space for the Black community to develop a daily meditation habit.”

https://liberatemeditation.com 

 Antiracism in Medicine Series Episode 1 - Racism, Police Violence and Health: 

https://clinicalproblemsolving.com/2020/08/25/episode-120-antiracism-in-medicine-series-episode-1-racism-police-violence-and-health/

 Onbeing podcast: Resmaa Menakem, ‘Notice the Rage; Notice the Silence’

 List inspired by “29 Movies, Shows, and Documentaries to Watch to Educate Yourself on Racial Injustice,” article by Ashley Aselleke.

Read: 

Tips to support Black mental health during the Derek Chauvin trial 

Mental Health America: Directory of therapists for BIPOC and QPOC individuals 

Tips for parents during the trial of Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd

Dr. Candice Nicole: Teacher, healer, scholar, and leader blog on Sex, Racism & More

BLACK LIVES MATTER ACTION ITEMS - (compiled by former and current IC student staff members, including ‘21 senior Annaliese Martinez) 

Five Self-Care Practices Black People Can Use While Coping With Trauma

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/self-care-black-coping-with-trauma_us_577e76a9e4b0c590f7e839ed

Four Self-Care Resources for Days When the World is Terrible

http://www.colorlines.com/articles/4-self-care-resources-days-when-world-terrible

Black bodies need love too: seven resources for self-care

http://blavity.com/black-bodies-need-love-too-7-resources-for-self-care/

Everything is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up

http://eponis.tumblr.com/post/113798088670/everything-is-awful-and-im-not-okay-questions-to

Self-Care: How to Remain Vigilant in Your Pursuit of Justice and Keep Your Spirit Intact

http://www.essence.com/2016/07/10/self-care-racial-trauma-blacklivesmatter-justice-keep-spirit-intact

Self-care list: how to take care of yourself while learning about oppression (with unaware people)

http://www.fabianromero.com/blog/june-01st-2020

ECCW ( European-American Collaborative Challenging Whiteness). Founded by a group of folks at CIIS including Alec, Elizabeth Kasl, Doug Paxton. Articles/chapters about Critical Humility.

Kathy Obear has weekly conversations she calls Community Connections; refer to resources on her website for people who want to create White Accountability Groups. 

Embodied Social Justice certificate program: https://www.theembodylab.com  

Rev angel Kyodo williams: Love and Justice work 

10 Ways to Live Restoratively: https://emu.edu/now/restorative-justice/2009/11/27/10-ways-to-live-restoratively/

Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing: 

https://nmaahc.si.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/resources/racialhealinghandbook_p87to94.pdf

Mental Health America’s webpage on Race-Based Traumatic Stress.

Racial battle fatigue and strategies for practices self-care: 

Quaye, S. J., Karikari, S. N., Rashad Allen, C., Kwamogi Okello, W., & Demere Carter, K. (2019). Strategies for practicing self-care from racial battle fatigue.

 Okello, W. K., Quaye, S. J., Allen, C., Carter, K. D., & Karikari, S. N. (2020). " We Wear the Mask": Self-Definition as an Approach to Healing From Racial Battle Fatigue. Journal of College Student Development, 61(4), 422-438.

  

In solidarity, 

College Committee on Inclusive Excellence