Statement Regarding Police Brutality & Anti-Blackness
To our fellow Black Ramblers:
With our world getting a closer look at the fight against anti-Black police brutality and racist violations of civil rights, we as Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer (CEDIO) Taylor Thomas, Senator Kennedy Mallory, and Senator Mofe Ogunsola of the Student Government of Loyola Chicago seek to extend a message to our community of Black students at Loyola University Chicago. As Black-identified student leaders, we are experiencing these times and their waves of emotions with you. We mourn the lives of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and James Scurlock with you and their families. We hear your demands for more from this world to value your Black life. We each know too well how during times like these, silence speaks volumes - and in our membership of a majority non-Black organization centered around student advocacy, we hear it loud and clear. Knowing that we represent one of the smallest racial demographics at our university, we recognize the great need to foster genuine support for our Black student body and we are empowered in our roles to call for a birth of true leadership in activism across our university. It should not take another unjust end to Black life for any of us to bring attention to our Jesuit values and mission in our fight against institutionalized racism.
With our organization, we strive to continue practicing the Jesuit values that we commit ourselves to as students and leaders. Senator Kennedy Mallory is working to establish a series of community conversations called “#BlackLivesMatter: More Than a Hashtag” for this upcoming Fall in order to address the importance of the Black Lives Matter Movement, the racial injustice Black students encounter on and off campus, and the education of our allies in their support of their Black peers without silencing our voices. CEDIO Taylor Thomas is working with campus administrators in establishing university recognition of Black History Month and other heritage months and days to expand the celebration of our lives across campus. Senator Mofe Ogunsola is seeking to establish priority funding of our campus’ cultural organizations because these organizations are key to feeling at home on our campus. Together, we are also working in collective groups of university administrators to establish institutional areas of support for our student experience. Even so, these are only parts of the solution.
It is with pleasure that we continue to consult, partner on, and promote initiatives with The Black Cultural Center and African Student Alliance, student organizations centered around supporting our Black and African American student community, as we engage in this work for you, for us. We also want to name the Department of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the Black Graduate Student Alliance as collaborative leaders in bringing voice to and providing space for the Black student experience. Further, we wish to assert that this work cannot be done solely by Black student leaders, rather it is incredibly necessary for non-Black student leaders in their respective student organizations and student spaces to show up as allies in moving such efforts forward as well. We call on our allied leaders to do this work with us because nothing should be said or done without the inclusion and upliftment of Black voices in allied activism. Maya Angelou once said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” It is then essential that we all start normalizing the conversation on racial discrimination not only during these devastating events, but instead every day with this history being our Black history
In Maroon and Gold,
Taylor Thomas | Chief Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer
Mofe Ogunsola | Senator, Allocations Committee
Kennedy Mallory | Senator, Justice Committee