Black folks have always known the personal was political and that the political was personal. This is evident to Black Penn students when our peers speculate that we are here because of affirmative action. It is evident in the dark circles around our eyes, from sleepless nights mourning the deaths of Black victims of police across the country, even while our White colleagues learn unburdened. And now, we are faced with the very personal politics of our peers who have taken the election of Donald Trump as a rallying cry to terrorize and silence us – to drive us back to a state of fearfulness and disempowerment, to have us recede from the political. These prejudiced and hateful attacks are designed to silence us, discourage us, and beat us down, but we will overcome.
We will NOT silently endure bigotry on this campus from students who are no more deserving of a safe education here than we are. We WILL hold the Penn administration accountable for creating an environment that is free of threats to the wellbeing of Black Penn students. We WILL join forces with other groups who are being targeted by the incoming United States presidential administration and by students and staff who support a vision of this country in which LGBTQ+, poor, black and brown, disabled, Muslim, and undocumented people are systematically disenfranchised and oppressed.
Black Penn will no longer be placated by well-meaning words instead of concrete, measurable action. This week, BGAPSA will issue a list of demands to the University that reflect the round the clock collective hard work of Black leaders across campus. We are strategizing. We are organizing. We are fighting.
We are here. We are united in love for one another. We will not be moved.
In Power and Love,
Your BGAPSA Executive Board