Statement on The Murders of Black Americans and Racism in the UHP

UHP Students,

The UHP condemns in the strongest terms the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, David McAtee, Tony McDade and all other members of the Black community who have been killed as a result of anti-Black racism and systemic oppression. Black lives matter. For far too long, we have lived under a system that has dehumanized and cast Black lives aside using state sponsored violence. These murders are not isolated incidents, but rather the results of longstanding systems of oppression built on white supremacy. As a society and as a community of scholars, we must confront this truth and commit to genuine discourse and action on issues affecting Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

In these moments, we must also look inward, and the UHP acknowledges that our program is not one in which all BIPOC students, staff, and faculty feel fully safe, represented, and supported. Our mission implores our students to “probe the most foundational questions of humanity and to apply their understanding to complex problems of the world today,” and we must do the same as we think about our own program. We should examine in what ways problems of racism, privilege, and lack of diversity have been sustained in our classrooms, living spaces, and in our own UHP community. We should also ask: How can we address these concerns internally and what can we do to actively overcome their presence? How can we resolve and constantly re-evaluate each of these issues as they evolve over time? These are questions that we have committed to consistently ask ourselves to create lasting change not just in our program, but within the greater context in which it exists.

One immediate action is to stand up, speak out, and support those around the country and the world who are making their voices heard. We condemn the authoritarian response of our leaders and the violence against citizens who express their legitimate grievances as is their fundamental first amendment right.

Our goal is to be a community where we all belong, but unfortunately, we are not yet fully there. As we press on toward that goal, we are listening carefully to the concerns that have been brought to us. We are eager to make improvements to our program so that we can better serve our mission. As a start, we are putting together a working group consisting of UHP students, faculty, and staff to help identify areas of concern and provide concrete steps for moving forward. Later this week, we will be telling you more about what the UHP has been doing and is committed to doing in the future and asking for volunteers to join this working group.

In solidarity,
The UHP Administration & Faculty

GW Resources:
GWInSolidarity Events 
GW Bias Incident Reporting
GW Office for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement

Anti-Racist Resources We Are Reading: 
Anti-Oppression LibGuide: Anti-racist resources
Educational and actionable resources

A Detailed List of Anti-Racism Resources: Book, movie recommendations, and more

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