Hoos Connected Statement on Anti-Black Racism
Hoos Connected is about bringing students together—to learn from one another and create meaningful relationships; to celebrate the rich diversity of lived experiences represented in the student body; and to build a truly inclusive community. But we must acknowledge the broader context from which we start this work.
Over the past year+, as Covid-19 has highlighted and exacerbated racial inequities in the US, we have witnessed brutal acts of violence against Black Americans – including those against George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Ahmaud Arbery – which are no doubt just the most visible edge of a broad pattern often unseen or ignored except by those affected. These deaths are just one tragic manifestation of systemic racism that permeates every aspect of our country and our community. These systems have their origin in the very birth of our nation, which employed slavery to exploit Black bodies for the profit of White men. They have been carefully tended to across centuries in order to maintain a power structure that harms Black Americans; the resultant inequities can be seen in our education and legal systems, housing, income, physical and mental health, and so on and so forth.
Inequities live here, too, in our University community, which was founded by a man who helped craft these very systems of oppression. Hoos Connected acknowledges this reality. We ardently condemn the terrible acts of violence we have all witnessed, and the systemic racism that allowed for them to occur. Black Lives Matter.
Hoos Connected engages in anti-racism efforts by incorporating anti-racist academic work into our training program, to help our facilitators recognize the privilege they may hold, and empower them to facilitate meaningful discussions around race and other identities with their group members. This is one small drop in an ocean of work that must be done. We know that we will do this imperfectly at times. It is an ongoing process that we seek to approach with humility, openness to feedback, and continual evaluation of how we are doing and what more we should be doing.
Today and always, we stand with our Black group members, facilitators, staff, and the entire Black community.
*This statement is aligned and affiliated with the Department of Psychology Statement on Anti-Black Racism