Black Lives Matter 2020 Statement
Sunrise Movement Hamilton College stands with the Black and Latinx Student Union and the Feminists of Color Collective in their support of the numerous Black Lives Matter protests happening across the country right now. We urge you to read their statement and look at the resources they have compiled for you to donate, protest, make phone calls, and educate.
Climate justice cannot and will not be achieved without racial justice, which requires an end to police brutality against Black folks and white supremacy at large. The climate crisis impacts Black people first and worst, just as the Coronavirus, poor education funding, and lack of access to healthcare do.
We urge every student organization at Hamilton to use their platforms to elevate this cause, fundraise for bail funds and community organizations, circulate petitions, and provide guidelines for self-protection and encouragement for participation in protests across the country.
There is still significant work to be done to accomplish any of these goals, both nationally and on Hamilton’s campus. Since our last email, we have been working closely with FCC and BLSU to craft an appropriate response for our own Hamilton community. This fight is not just about Minneapolis; it is not only about George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, or Ahmaud Arbery; it is about the continued state-sanctioned oppression and murder of Black peoples that has gone on for centuries.
For our community, it means grappling with our history as a settler-colonial institution which rose to prominence by almost exclusively educating white men for most of its history. It means that Black students should be given the platform and power to speak and act for themselves in addressing the racism which is present in every part of our campus, even in our activist spaces. We will continue to follow the lead of our Black-led allies in FCC and BLSU as well as our off-campus partners. We are ready to support them however they ask.
Our institution has begun to address these problems. President Wippman’s statement today was a valuable and important first step in creating a culture that says Hamilton College, as an institutional body, is capable of taking anti-racist action. But these words must also reflect the full reality of our situation. Future statements and actions must be guided by the fact that it is Black people who are and should be at the center of this cause, not white male politicians who were protested by civil rights advocates themselves. Above all, actions speak louder than words. Under leadership of our Black allies, we will work to make sure Hamilton College and the Student Assembly take meaningful, tangible action.
In addition to all of the materials that FCC and BLSU provided in their statement, we also strongly urge you to make calls to your congressperson in support of the Congressional resolution to “condemn police brutality, racial profiling, and use of excessive force” introduced in the House by Representative Ayanna Pressley here. The website will provide you with a call script and phone number. To call Clinton, NY’s congressman, Representative Anthony Brindisi, change your zip code to 13323.
This is a very difficult time for many members of our community. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need support or help personally or politically. We will do what we can.
Madison Lazenby ‘23 - Hub Coordinator
Zoe Sauvé '23 - Hub Coordinator
Jessica Sanchez ‘23 - Hub Coordinator
Faby Alvarez ‘22 - Treasurer
Sarah Gyurina ‘22 - Secretary
Sam Greenhouse ‘21 -Hub Delegate
Eric Stenzel ‘23 - Partnerships Lead
Emily Fienco ‘23 - Justice, Equity, and Anti-Oppression Director Emeritus
Ele Sorensen ‘23 - Actions Lead Emeritus