Student Disability Commission

August 17, 2020

Black Lives Matter: Letter of Solidarity

Dear UW community,

The SDC team wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the immense stress and trauma that we are all facing during this time of racial injustice and a global pandemic. We want to make it clear that racism and police brutality has been happening for centuries, and this is nothing new. To our fellow Black students, faculty, and staff: we see you, we hear you, and will strive to support you in any way possible.

As we’re coming up on finals week, we recognize that it is blatantly unreasonable to ask students, black students in particular, to focus on essays and tests right now. We have been advocating for flexibility in education for years now, and now is as important as ever to emphasize that. If you have a professor who has not reached out to help accommodate students, we urge you to reach out to them (here is an email template at the bottom of this resource that you can use).

We mourn the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others. There is NO justification for a system as brutal, violent, and senseless as the police system, and we must strive continuously for reform/promoting community-based systems instead. We also recognize and mourn the many deaths of Black disabled people, who rest at a dangerous intersection of racism and ableism. The SDC is fiercely committed to advocating for these communities, and we will continue to do everything in our power to ensure that permanent change happens here.

If there is absolutely anything we can do for you, as a black student, as a disabled student, as students experiencing stress and trauma beyond comparison, please let us know. We are here for you. Our virtual ‘door’ is always open, and we will advocate for you however possible.

Also a message to those of you who are sitting on the sidelines right now: Your silence speaks volumes. Being silent means being complicit: we URGE you to donate, educate yourself, and educate those around you.

With much love and in solidarity,
The SDC team


Attached is a resource created by the wonderful Sahra Ibrahim (ASUW Director of Diversity Efforts) that includes a guide to allyship, places to donate, petitions to sign, ways to educate yourself (books, podcasts, documentaries and movies, articles, etc.), resources for mental health for black students (and all UW students), email drafts, and more.