Spectrum Center

The rainbow gay flag in the background and a simplified vector of the black power fist on a black circle in the foreground. The fist is colored with 6 horizontal stripes ranging from light brown at the top, to dark brown at the bottom

June 3, 2020

While different forms of oppression continue to be pervasive in everyday society, the staff at Spectrum Center recognizes the impact that anti-Black racism and anti-Asian racism/xenophobia has had on our students, staff, faculty, and alumnx communities near and far. We would like to restate the center’s commitment to intersectional advocacy, support, and allyhood work especially with Queer, Trans, Black, and Indigenous People of Color. 

We acknowledge the oppression of Black people as they carry the weight of racialized violence and police brutality that sits on top of the disproportionate impact of COVID-19. We feel you. This statement recognizes the often invisible Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Desi, and immigrant members of our community. We see you. 

Over the last three months, as we have navigated working remotely, the Ann Arbor campus and community have demonstrated extraordinary care for one another. However, the pandemic brought the worst to the forefront of our society as we continue to witness anti-Asian and xenophobic retaliations surface and spread at the highest levels. These overt forms of racism, microaggressions, and implicit bias have a negative impact on our staff of color and racially minoritized student body. Seeing these public displays of hate have a significant effect on the well-being of how our audiences feel in their own community spaces. 

Racialized violence against Black people has come during an unprecedented pandemic that has in itself resulted in structural inequities and bias in healthcare that is nothing short of genocidal. Spectrum Center acknowledges the acts of violence committed against Sha’Teina Grady El in Washtenaw County, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia, George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Tony McDade in Florida, and Black communities. We remember Mike Brown, Alton Sterling, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and recognize the countless others unnamed and unknown, many of whom are Black transgender women and transgender women of color. We recognize that in order for justice to be served we must not overburden the Black community with our guilt and instead need to show up by taking actions to address anti-Blackness. 

Several leaders across the institution have shared their sentiments regarding the recent events. Yet, we recognize there are no easy answers during this time. There is more work that we can do as a center. This work of multiplicity and intersectionality should not weigh only on the shoulders of people of color. Spectrum Center calls its communities and allies to join in condemning racial hate and violence through the following actions:

  • Commit to addressing anti-Black and anti-Asian inequities in our communities. 

  • Deepen our commitment to raising awareness around Queer, Transgender, Black, and Indigenous People of Color (QTBIPOC) who are especially vulnerable to racialized and minoritized violence. 

  • Support the full participation of immigrant and international students, faculty, and staff in our institution. 

  • Learn about the history of racially minoritized communities in the U.S. and globally.

  • Learn about the origins of Pride as a riot started by Black and Brown queer and trans folks and honor the history in your Pride celebrations this month.

  • Support local organizations and social movements that are happening either financially or through participation.

In addition to these actions, Spectrum Center commits to continue and bolster our work of racial justice and supporting communities of color. For immediate support, reach out to the Dean of Student Office (deanofstudents@umich.edu) or CAPS (caps-uofm@umich.edu). To learn about additional resources, visit identity-based offices in the Division of Students who continue to provide support to our student body.

In Solidarity,

Spectrum Center staff

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