Black Lives Matter - Our Commitment
Our Commitment To Black Lives Matter
Monday, June 15, 2020
To our Cornell community,
We have been listening, learning, reflecting, amplifying, and planning.
Black lives matter. The Office of Campus Activities cannot, and will not, stay silent without action as our Black students and community members continue to erased through racial injustice, violence, anti-Blackness, and systemic oppression.
We recognize that the institution of higher education is founded on and continues to function with intentional systemic barriers in place for marginalized people, especially our Black community members.
Our office supports the mission of the Cornell Students 4 Black Lives, a coalition led by Cornell Black students with over 180 student organizations advocating for Black liberation. They work to utilize “their networks to amplify the black voices on campus in promoting activism and education, in order to combat both explicit and implicit racism”. We are incredibly proud and inspired by the united front of so many Cornell student organizations.
We make this statement now to hold the Campus Activities office accountable. Our intention is not to center on our office, but rather to focus on thousands of Black lives that have been unjustly ended and to ensure we are making our public commitment to amplify and empower Black lives and voices.
The call-to-action of our Black community, as well as President Pollack’sand VP Lombardi’s June 3 statements, have resonated with our office. Still, our words can only do so much. Here are action steps our office is committing to, recognizing that this is the beginning of an ongoing commitment to do our part in breaking the cycle.
Actions we are taking:
Critically examining our office’s one-, three-, and 5-year strategic plans, to ensure that we best support our student organizations, especially our Black organizations, in a way that creates more equitable experiences
- Enhancing existing structures to create a more equitable process for student organization funding, including the Student Activities Funding Commission (SAFC) and the Student Assembly Appropriations Committee
- In conjunction with the Student Assembly, developing a system for all byline-funded organizations to track and share information on their inclusive practices and engagement, that includes but is not limited to presenting tangible actions for inclusive recruitment processes and event/program attendance
Developing a series of required workshops or trainings for the President, Vice President, and one other executive board member of each organization. Members will be required to attend at least one diversity and inclusion-focused workshop during their first semester in the position. We will consult and collaborate with campus partners.
- Continued professional staff development, including more intentional trainings and workshops on diversity, equity, and bias.
Creating student organization expectations for inclusionary and equitable practices in membership recruitment, retention, and attrition
We understand that this is just the beginning. We will continue to evaluate and assess our plans along the way, and our office is always open to listen, learn, reflect, change, amplify, and plan.
Campus Activities Office