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A Response to The Crisis of Police Brutality and Violence Against Black People in America

The Center for Academic Equity | The Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life

 

As we watched in horror the violent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Modesto Reyes and George Floyd we recognized that these are not isolated incidents. These are a part of a broader system of racial injustice and anti-Blackness affecting Black people and communities of color within the land that is now called the “United States.” This has also been realized in the disproportionate burden Black and Brown communities are experiencing during the COVID-19 epidemic (e.g., serving as frontline and essential workers while also comprising the highest numbers of deaths). These racial inequities shape life chances and outcomes for Black and Brown people. 

The Carolyn Barber Pierre Center for Intercultural Life and Center for Academic Equity in Newcomb-Tulane College want to express love for our students and continue to be in solidarity with our incoming and current students, faculty, staff, and alumni affected by this tragedy. You are valued members of this community and we honor our commitment to racial justice and equity in your names. We care about your health, safety, and well-being, especially as you are navigating this pandemic and recent tragic news. We recognize the impact and legacy of such violence in our communities is cumulative and collectively traumatizing to us all. If you need support in any way, please reach out to us. We are here to help. Find ways to connect with the Center for Academic Equity and the Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life on our websites.

We are committed to continuous engagement with students, providing support, and developmental opportunities for all students within the Tulane community. We are working through our existing programs and relationships with student organizations and community activists to disrupt and dismantle the impacts of racism, Anti-Blackness and other forms of oppression in our campus community. We also continue to support the tireless efforts of student leaders advocating for an equity fee to fund this work sustainably throughout the institution at all levels.

It is hard to know what we can do right now at this very moment. Many of you may be out on the streets participating in protests against police brutality and anti-Blackness. Many of you are processing secondary trauma related to these recent murders, and may be experiencing increased racial trauma. Many of you may want to do something active, but are unsure of where to start in dismantling anti-Blackness in our society. In whatever way you choose to engage this critical moment in our society where there are righteous uprisings against persistent and structural anti-Blackness, we encourage you to use your good judgment and prioritize your health and safety. We have put together a list of resources that may be helpful to you during this time. We also know that some of you may be reluctant to participate in peaceful protests out of fear of university repercussions, should you happen to be arrested while exercising this fundamental right. Be assured that the Office of Student Conduct reviews each case individually, and an arrest will not automatically lead to charges. The Office of Student Conduct has agreed to consult with the Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center staff in advance of levying any charges that have a connection to protest activity. Some may be concerned about employment repercussions following an arrest while engaging in peaceful protests, and while we can’t guarantee that you won’t have any repercussions-we support our students right to exercise their right to peacefully gather and to speak out against injustices.

 

Resources to Support Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Students can access mental health services through CAPS
  • Appointments for students in Louisiana: If you are currently located in Louisiana and need mental health care, schedule a virtual visit with one of our providers. 
  • Crisis Support for all students: For after-hours crisis support, The Line is available 24/7 to Tulane students. Call or text The Line, 24/7, at (504) 264-6074.
  • Support, join, or create mutual aid networks in your community to find and give support during this time. Learn more.