Dear ESPM community,
Recently the names of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor have been added to the long list of Black and Brown victims of racially motivated murder. We feel it is important to acknowledge the pain and injustice of these horrific events, and that people are rightfully outraged and hurting. We too are angered by police brutality and the life-threatening harassment of Black people, including Chris Cooper, for simply enjoying nature, conducting field work, and asking others to obey the law.
The endless litany of these incidents against Black, Brown and Indigenous communities and the outrage that has followed, compel us to move from simply being “non-racist” to being anti-racist; this means stepping up to challenging racism in all of its forms—from pointing out off-handed micro-aggressions, to pushing for structural change that advances equity and inclusion in ESPM, the campus and broader community. It means inviting courageous conversations in our classes, labs, social hours, dinner tables; bearing witness against racism in our communities and workplaces; and working toward social and environmental justice in and beyond the university.
We believe that collectively we must all make ESPM a space for everyone to challenge and change the system that perpetuates egregious injustice and racism.
Some of the relevant campus resources:
UC Berkeley Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), (510) 642-9494. CAPS employs mental health professionals trained to provide support to individuals from a wide array of identities, including traditionally marginalized or disenfranchised groups.
Othering & Belonging Institute at UC Berkeley, including their statement “On George Floyd and the struggle to belong”.
Centers for Educational Justice & Community Engagement, (510) 642-6528: These centers provide space, programs, and services for Berkeley’s diverse student communities.
Reporting: For information and support on reporting hate crimes or hate-motivated acts, visit stophate.berkeley.edu.