Statement of Solidarity Regarding Civil Protest of Racial Inequality
June 9, 2020
Dear Members of the Cal Poly community and beyond:
We want to echo the anger and disgust expressed from others around the Cal Poly and the greater community; we condemn the recent racist incidents (e.g., the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor) that have occurred in communities across the United States over the past few months. These deaths are stark reminders that racism and anti-blackness continue to occur in our society, and that our institutions and culture continue to allow and encourage White (often male) officers and vigilantes to antagonize, demean, brutalize, and murder Black people and other people of color. We stand in solidarity with those who are using their voices and actions to resist systemic and often blatant acts of hate, bias, and discrimination against people of color and their allies.
Given the protests, it must be hard to stay focused on your courses, jobs and other immediate responsibilities right now. But remember that in the long term, work in kinesiology and public health is inseparable from social justice. National organizations in kinesiology and public health have issued statements reaffirming their commitment to address systemic racism and to advocate for change. The latest events remind us all of our professional responsibility to witness and to intentionally seek to mitigate these issues if we are to live our values of equity, inclusivity, and primary prevention.
We recognize that we are all at different stages of understanding what we can or should be doing at this moment. Many of us are already struggling with managing the difficulties of school, home, the COVID-19 pandemic. You should take care of yourselves and loved ones during these stressful times. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Our response to events may be immediate or gradual. In either path, it is important that we endeavor to be informed: seek to understand what is happening now, locally, regionally, nationally, globally; and seek to understand the historical backdrop for these current events.
Finally, we affirm that each of us, as faculty and staff in the KPH department, is here to support and serve as a resource to our students, our university, and our local and professional communities.
The KPH Faculty & Staff
Resources. We have compiled some Cal Poly and non-Cal Poly resources depending on your needs and interests (see the remaining pages for a list of the resources by topic area).
Acknowledgment: Letter composed with input from several KPH students.
For mental health/wellbeing (for Cal Poly enrolled students):
- Cal Poly Counseling: call 805-756-2511
- Crisis Text Line for all (free, 24/7): text HOME to 741741
- Crisis Text Line for students of color: text STEVE to 741741
- Dean of Students: email firstname.lastname@example.org
To report acts of hate/bias/discrimination:
- Cal Poly Bias Incident Response Team: https://birt.calpoly.edu/
- Anti-Defamation League: https://www.adl.org/reportincident
- Southern Poverty Law Center: https://www.splcenter.org/reporthate
If you plan to participate in marches or rallies:
- Please know and understand your rights as protesters:
- ACLU website
- Tips for Organizing and Protesting to Support Black Lives (Created by The Central Coast Coalition for Undocumented Student Success [CCC-USS])
- Know your Rights Training (Slides from the UndocuAlly Working Group Know Your Rights Training)
Be aware: San Luis Obispo County law enforcement will be present at local demonstrations and is making two requests for anyone gathering to protest, march or rally: (1) marchers/protesters shall not go on the freeway, and (2) law enforcement will not tolerate any vandalism/violence to people or property. Please keep these two requests in mind, as you chant, shout, and share messages to express your outrage, as well as and your desires for lasting and meaningful social change. Other cities/municipalities may have similar restrictions as those summarized in this paragraph.
To further educate yourself on these issues:
- Books (for purchase or rent via Amazon.com or other markets) and other media
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the time of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- We are not yet equal by Carol Anderson
- Privilege, power, and difference by Allan G. Johnson
- Violence never works? Really? How do you think this country came to be? [article, 8-minute read] by Time Wise https://medium.com/@timjwise/violence-never-works-really-e0af884c03b4
- Seeing White podcast by Scene on Radio https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/
- Watch 13th, directed by Ava DuVernay https://www.netflix.com/search?q=13th
- Social justice and the professions. Here is a sampling of videos that might help you see how these issues relate to the human movement, medical, and public health professions:
- Does racism play a role in health inequities [video: 6:39]? (2016, February 17). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mudlev9tTIY
- Racial/ethnic prejudice & discrimination: crash course sociology #35 [video: 11:39]. (2017, November 27). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSddUPkVD24
- The history of black protest in sports [video: 14:14]. (2017, December 21). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzNb6-rZvAU
- How the U.S. government segregated Chicago. Inside Chicago, Part 1. [video: 8:24]. (2017, May 25). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN_8KIpmZXs
Organizations that advocate for social justice (non-exhaustive list):
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. https://www.naacp.org/campaigns/we-are-done-dying/
- #BlackLivesMatter. https://blacklivesmatter.com/
- Campaign Zero. https://www.joincampaignzero.org/