Supporting our Black and other BIPOC students during this painful time

September 26, 2020

Dear Berkeley Journalism Community,

This has been a year of persistent loss, particularly if you are Black and brown in America.

I write today to acknowledge the pain that our BIPOC students, faculty and staff are experiencing because of the decision by prosecutors in Louisville not to pursue charges against the police officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor in her home this past summer. Her death highlights the vulnerability of Black people just trying to live their lives in America.

Please know we share your heartbreak and are here to support you.

I understand the hurt of this latest decision, coming as it does after so many other horrific examples of police brutality against Black and brown people on our streets. And I know it is harder to find the support we need during this pandemic when we are mostly confined to our homes. And that we on the west coast are also experiencing more acutely than ever the dangerous reality of climate change as fires ravage our state—and the smoke has darkened our skies and choked our lungs. Layered over all of this is an election just weeks away in which the rhetoric is deeply polarizing and just plain hurtful.

Please know, dear valued BIPOC members of our community, we share your grief and we are here to support you. Let’s all reach out to our BIPOC friends, classmates and colleagues so they feel the warm embrace of the Berkeley Journalism community. If you need support, or know someone who does, please reach out to Tracy Pascua Dea, our head of student services, at tpd@berkeley.edu; Jeremy Rue, our associate dean, at jrue@berkeley.edu; and Andrés Cediel, our head graduate advisor, at acediel@berkeley.edu. You can always reach me at geeta_anand@berkeley.edu. You can also find important resources at this university website.

As we hold one another tightly during these difficult times, let us as journalists also renew our devotion to pursuing truth and revealing the grave and persistent injustices in our deeply troubled world.

In solidarity,
Geeta Anand

 

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