Student Media Council Statement of Solidarity for Black Lives

We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and other organizations who are demanding justice for the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and countless others. Anti-Black violence and persecution is present across the country, in our communities and on our campus.

We wholeheartedly endorse the demands of the Black Student Union at UC Santa Cruz, and call on Chancellor Cynthia Larive to address these demands with urgency and authenticity.

We support efforts to dismantle institutionalized racism and white supremacy, which enables the continued oppression of the Black community. We condemn all forms of police violence, and call for the demilitarization and defunding of the police.

In addition, we condemn the violence against protestors, and against Black, Indigenous and People of Color who have been putting their bodies on the line in the ongoing struggle against systemic injustices. When Black journalists are also targeted with violence and excluded from the news-gathering process, this further damages the Black Lives Matter movement and prevents insightful coverage from reaching the wider audience. All of this must stop.

As media organizations, we recognize the ways media upholds dominant power structures as well as its ability to change these structures. We commit to the self-examination and education necessary to challenge the anti-Blackness in ourselves, our organizations and the university. Through this reflection and dialogue, we strengthen our understanding, along with our ability to represent the experiences of the Black community. We will use our platforms and resources to amplify marginalized voices and correct misinformation. We commit to ethical practices that help our community combat prejudiced propaganda.

This struggle is older than all of us, yet its urgency only grows. We understand this is an ongoing transformation that will require our collectivity and courage. Listening, learning and joining in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement will move us toward justice and real change.

Signed,

Student Media Council & Career Staff

June 9, 2020