Fairhaven College Solidarity Statement
Fairhaven College stands in solidarity with those who are engaged in protests around the U.S. in response to continued systemic police violence against Black communities. We continue to witness how systems of power villainize, oppress, and fail to address the needs and wellbeing of those most marginalized in U.S. society.
It is important to place these instances of violence in their historical context and understand how these are not isolated events. This last decade alone has consistently shown us how existing while Black is perceived and acted upon based on internalized biases that view Blackness as threatening by default. These biases are not new and are foundational to the ideologies of the U.S.
To our Black students, we see you and validate your emotional responses to this past week. We know these responses can be overwhelming, and we encourage you to find ways to maintain connection and engage in modes of healing. The experiences of trauma are real, and it is important to notice physical, emotional, and spiritual reactions as you are exposed to, engage with, and digest these events. Check in with yourselves as a means to identify your needs and determine the limits of engaging with this current moment. As Audre Lorde stated, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
To our Indigenous students and Students of Color, we see you and validate your stances of solidarity with Black folks. We encourage you to also reflect on how anti-Blackness exists in your communities and ways in which you can work to educate and dismantle those attitudes. To our White students, we see you and validate your desires for allyship. Now is the time to step back, take a look at the world around you, and listen in order to understand the needs of Black people and communities. Remember that allyship is a verb, a continual movement towards action that demonstrates a willingness to put privilege on the line for the lives of marginalized populations.
We acknowledge that, as Fairhaven faculty and staff, we must continue to do our own work in educating ourselves, recognizing our own privileges, increasing awareness of our social positions, and developing strategies for change. As we move forward in our response, we will work towards centering the voices and perspectives of Black members of the Fairhaven community in order to provide space and support. We welcome feedback around the best ways to support our Fairhaven community.
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