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Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:49 AM

Dear Membership,

June 1st marks the beginning of Pride Month—a month of joy and celebration, taking pride in our queer and trans identities. However, this June 1st arrives during yet another collective moment of anger and uprising as Black lives are taken by white supremacy in the form of police/policing systems and other state-sanctioned violence. This June 1st brings a new month to the families and loved ones of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others who go unnamed and whose lives should not be forgotten; a new month without their children, parents, siblings, friends. We intentionally want to affirm the identity and uplift the story of Tony McDade, a transgender man murdered by police in Florida last week who has been misgendered and dead-named in many reports.

The entire Executive Board of the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals writes today in solidarity with our Black members, friends, and colleagues as the organizing, protesting, and uprising continues. We write today to offer support to our members who are suffering, who are carrying deep pain and deep fear, who are caring and serving with strength in their communities while holding their own grief and anger, who are moving forward as our institutions expect “business as usual.” 

In light of ongoing uprisings in response to police violence against and murders of Black people in this country and globally, we want to remind our membership that it was the Stonewall uprisings in resistance to police violence against LGBTQ+ communities, primarily against queer and trans people of color, that laid the foundation for us to celebrate what we now call Pride today. This legacy of resistance should call us all to honor, remember, and act in solidarity with Black folks in our lives, institutions, and broader communities. For those needing education to turn to—with a particular call to reading for white and non-Black POC members—here are some resources that we hope will also lessen the burden of education from our Black peers and students:

In the spirit of moving beyond words and towards action, the Executive Board would like to present the following opportunities to engage and connect:

  • Our organization will be hosting spaces for our Black members through our QTIBPOC Constituency Calls; more information will be sent to membership as those dates are planned. For Black members seeking immediate virtual community, please visit our Consortium QPOC Constituency Group on Facebook

  • All upcoming constituency calls this week will center dialogue around racial justice and anti-Blackness.

  • We are bringing back the Decentering Whiteness series, last offered in summer 2018. The series was successful in bringing colleagues together around how we can decenter whiteness in our practice and lives. While our intent was to continue the series on an ongoing basis, we would like to be accountable for not decentering whiteness in our own practice by not continuing. Our intention is to build a collaborative learning space and are seeking facilitators and participants—to learn more, click here

If there are additional ways we can offer support and engagement from our organization, please let us know at [email protected].

In solidarity,

The Consortium Executive Board