Black Lives Matter: SLL Solidarity Statement and Commitment
The Office of Service Learning and Leadership stands in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the pursuit of justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many, many Black lives that have been stolen at the hands of white supremacy and police violence.
As an office dedicated to leadership education, community engagement, and social justice, we acknowledge our proximity to government power and embrace our responsibility to educate about and actively combat systems of injustice and racism within our communities, near and far.
Further, as an office presently comprised of white and non-Black people of color, we must remain active and focused in the work of anti-racism now and long into the future. This commitment is and will continue to be reflected in the core of our work alongside our incredible students, colleagues, and resilient community partners.
We make the following commitments to the UNLV community:
- Review internal policies and practices
- Engage in ongoing office dialogues & committing to growth in antiracism work & practice
- Participate in conversations with Campus Life leadership to look critically at policies and practices
- Offer programs and learning experiences that deeply integrate principles of social justice and help learners explore, understand, and act on the deep history of white supremacy. This will show up in our work and programming, including:
- Voter registration & education
- Food and housing insecurity
- Alt Break trip topics and reflection time
- Student volunteerism (UNLVolunteers)
- Leadership development (LEAD Team)
- Council and student employee development that centers social location and individual development as well as structural approaches to anti-racism work
- Facilitating virtual identity-based student caucuses to advance learning
The Service Learning and Leadership Staff
Janna Bernstein, Anabel Chavva, Juanita Hinojosa, Stine Odegard, Rian Satterwhite, Amber Sevart, Leanne Soter
Resources and actions:
- Thank you to Student Diversity and Social Justice and the Jean Nidetch Women’s Center (JNWC) for developing this list of vital resources and actionable items you can take listed here: Resources for Social Change/Protests. The Jean Nidetch Women's Center (JNWC) has offered to provide resources and communication of how non-Black colleagues can show up in solidarity. If you have any questions regarding this information, please feel free to reach out to the JNWC directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Thanks, also, to the Black Mountain Institute Staff for assembling the following list of resources and guidance for meaningful action:
- In Las Vegas, you can support the #VegasFreedomFund, Mass Liberation Project Nevada, and Forced Trajectory Project.
- You can support resistance funds across the country, and find other ways to help here.
- Find resources on anti-racism here and a list of resources for BlackLivesMatter here. Read a helpful thread on avoiding optical allyship by Mireille Cassandra Harper here.
- For further reading, consider The 1619 Project, “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates, So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, and Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad.
- For reading lists, consider Haymarket Books' reading list against policing and mass incarceration, Unlearning Racism from Skylight Books, and the compilation of multicultural and social justice books for children, young adults, and educators by SocialJusticeBooks.org, a project of Teaching for Change.
- Find virtual mental health resources supporting Black people here and here.