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Links in this email: SGA’s Mission Statement and Pillars, SGA’s Message on Combating Racial Injustice, Feedback Form: SGA Anti-Racism Action Plan, Mount Holyoke College’s anti-racism action plan, and Diversity and Inclusion Events
We, the SGA Executive Board, in accordance with our Mission Statement and Pillars, affirm and uphold community values of encouraging solidarity, inclusivity, and mutual support amongst the student body regarding anti-racist matters.
It is easy to say that one is anti-racist, but it is difficult to do the work. Earlier this summer, SGA named our commitment to combating racial injustice. This email is not only meant to reiterate this commitment, but also to signal that our work has only just begun and will continue consistently throughout the year.
Here are a few updates on the measures we are taking:
The Senate team pledges to facilitate the establishment of a Special Interest Group and/or Senate Commissions of interested student representatives to assess and create actionable steps for ongoing anti-racist matters.
This year, the SGA Executive Board will create a SGA Anti-Racism Action Plan. This plan will help shape the role of SGA and our actions.
As we draft this plan, we want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts, suggestions, and feedback about this plan here.
In acknowledgment of concerns about anti-Black lives matter initiatives in our larger community, we celebrate the initiative and advocacy work of many students and student groups. Our values align with this work. As an organization we believe in the importance of representing all student perspectives and providing agency to all students to be active members in shaping the Mount Holyoke community.
Accountability is required to enact change. We as an Executive Board have pledged to hold ourselves accountable in our own work and the College to its anti-racism action plan: “The College will convene local community leaders to discuss furthering efforts toward anti-racism in South Hadley and surrounding areas.” With this in mind, we are in communication with the College to ensure the safety of students on campus during local public events. The College does not own or operate the Town Common, which includes the gazebo space next to the Village Commons, or the public streets. However, Mount Holyoke has an obligation to protect the health and safety of its students while promoting an anti-racist agenda. We ask the College to continue affirming their commitment to supporting students of marginalized identities, by providing more spaces for dialogue, processing, and healing from instances of social injustice and hate.
Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with the Black, Indigenous, POC, and other marginalized members of our community.
On behalf of the Executive Board
(P.S. Please take a look at Resources for Activism and Allyship. It is not an exhaustive list, but is meant to centralize resources and create a starting point for advocacy work. Additionally, here are a list of Mental Health resources)