Statement Addressing Allyship
June 5, 2020
Dear Loyola Community,
I want to, first, thank and acknowledge the Black-identified leaders in our organization, Chief Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Officer (CEDIO) Taylor Thomas, Senator Kennedy Mallory, and Senator Mofe Ogunsola. At an unfathomable time of distress and emotional burdens placed on the Black community, they remain unwavering leaders and continue challenging myself and our membership to do better for our Black peers.
Please read their Statement regarding Police Brutality & Anti-Blackness here.
Eleven days ago, George Floyd was murdered by Minneapolis Police Officers. As the President of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC), I vehemently and completely condemn the racist killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, James Scurlock, and so many more at the hands of police officers and racist individuals. Our words come eleven days following George Floyd’s death, but the painful reality of violent racism against the Black community persists in our country and communities, throughout history and today.
As a White president of a Student Government with a majority non-Black membership at a predominantly White institution, I see many of us wanting to do good, wanting to be allies, and turning to our Black peers to educate us on how. To my non-Black identifying community members: we must reflect and educate ourselves on our individual identities and how our lives have been afforded comfortability at the expense of the Black community.
We cannot expect to be educated by our Black peers about the lived experience of the Black community or on the ways to be ‘good allies’. Our charge as non-Black allies is to actively and continually amplify the voices and stories of our Black peers, to educate ourselves, to listen, to vote, to donate. It is to be actively anti-racist in every space we find ourselves in: the classroom, our hometowns, internships, our future careers, at our Thanksgiving dinners. Our activism does not end on social media or when the news coverage does. It must remain durable when conversations of our own privilege make us uncomfortable.
Our allyship must be a lifelong commitment, as is our commitment to be People For and With Others, of showing up, making mistakes, listening, and learning. There is inherent privilege in our choice to commit to being an ally. Make the choice to confront our societal injustices head on, for our friends who don’t have that choice. Our duty to social justice cannot be performative, but a genuine, lived promise.
As a Student Government, we commit ourselves to meaningfully pursuing initiatives in line with the Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Statement of the SGLC, including advocacy for increased student space and diverse representation in Loyola’s trustees, administrators, faculty, and staff. We commit to supporting the work of our Black-identifying members. We commit to supporting and amplifying the work and resources of the Black Cultural Center, the African Student Alliance, and the Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office, and, in the process, working to improve our relationships with each. We commit ourselves to providing, consolidating, and communicating resources for our community to be involved in pursuits of racial justice and in the healing of hearts.
Please explore the attached living-document of resources and ways to take action that many members of the SGLC, Black leaders, and our community, at-large, have helped to develop, organize, and compile.
May our allyship never be a destination, rather a journey of continued education and growth, because Black Lives Matter. Yesterday, today, and every day.
In Maroon and Gold,
Maddie Drescher | firstname.lastname@example.org
President of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC)