#BlackLivesMatter – Remembering the Names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

Dear SCP Members and Student Affiliates,

The number is 561 – 561 people killed by police in 2016; 561 hearts that no longer have a pulse; 561 inexplicably wrongful deaths, of which the majority were people of color; 561 names we must not reduce to numbers or forget. As grainy videos of the last minutes of yet another Black life circulate our cybersphere, we are able to bear witness to the horrendous racism that renders Black lives disposable and unworthy of due process; however, it will not necessarily bring justice. We need to remember the names of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and to not allow them to be lost in this form of tragedy that has become far too routine. We must Ferguson banner image v2recognize the privilege of resignation and unresponsiveness. We must not allow Black lives to stop mattering and we have to resist any numbness to continue to call attention to the unfair burden of police brutality that falls on the shoulders of Black individuals and communities. Therefore, we urge the continuation of hashtag and social media activism (#BlackLivesMatter), the organization of and participation in die-ins and vigils, the creation of safe spaces and the sharing of resources, the continuation of dialogue, and many other social justice efforts. Lastly, if you have the privilege to bear witness and do nothing and say nothing, become aware of the privileged identities that allow you to continue with your day unchanged and your safety protected, and allow yourself to be challenged to grow as an ally.
 
Below we are including some links to resources and statements that have been created in the past; however, we recognize this list as limited and encourage our membership to continue to share resources with SCP and their various communities:
  • Division 17 resources list that was created in the wake of Ferguson and Michael Brown’s wrongful death and the grand jury’s decision to not indict the White officer who killed him (http://www.div17.org/resources/ferguson-mo-michael-brown-decision-resources/)
  • Campaign Zero (http://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision), which collects very useful data and reports with the aim of policy solutions for a number of issues that contribute to violence by police directed toward black and brown people. 
  • #StayWoke (www.staywoke.org) that connects interested people to activism opportunities. This site requires you to include your perspectives for addressing issues of police violence and racism and discuss your experiences and skills, rather than simply inputing an email address. In this way, signing up may serve as an intervention in consciousness raising. 
An initiative of the Diversity and Public Interest Committee on Social Change will be working over the next weeks and months to develop resources to address the continued violence facing marginalized communities in the U.S. and globally. There is intersectionality in identities and oppression is systemic in nature; thus it is important to recognize how islamophobia, terror, and the mass shooting of LGBTQ+ Lantinx are inextricably linked to racism. We simultaneously need to recognize and hold the difference in the violence targeting Black lives and communities in the U.S.
 
Division 17’s More Pie Discussion will be held Friday, August 5th from 1pm to 3pm in the Central City room of the Brown Palace Hotel, Denver. We will be talking about these issues, so we hope you can come.
 
In Solidarity,
 
Brittan Davis
Dan Walinsky 
Anneliese Singh
Saba Ali
Muninder Ahluwalia
Amy Reynolds
Laurel Watson
Nathan Smith
Melanie Lantz
Theo Burnes
Heidi Hutman
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