We, the directors of the four Diversity Programs at EWU, write to express our grief and outrage at the recent state-sanctioned killings of so many Black people. We join multitudes of others nationally and internationally in protest and demand an end to anti-Black police and state violence. We have been reeling from the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities, and then we got hit with this terrifying upsurge in state violence. Some have suggested these are two different crises, but we know better.
The pandemic and this surge in racist violence are both deeply rooted in a history of white supremacy that values white lives and property above all else. We know this nation was founded in Indigenous genocide and dispossession, built through Black enslavement, and developed via the exploitation of immigrant labor – those oppressive structures are not just our past, but very much our present. This moment is revealing these truths for many beyond our QTBIPOC communities.
We are inspired by the outpouring of solidarity and resistance across the globe, the country, and right here in Spokane. As educators, we are particularly moved by the youth who are acting with brilliance and courage. We are at a tipping point and they are unrelenting in their demands for true social transformation. In this historic moment, we are putting all of our collective weight on Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s long “arc of the moral universe” to bend it more quickly toward justice.
Dr. Deirdre Almeida, director, American Indian Studies
Dr. Scott Finnie, director, Africana Studies
Dr. Nydia Martinez, director, Chicana/o/x Studies
Dr. Judy Rohrer, director, Women’s and Gender Studies
Eastern Washington University