Students Association leaders vowed to hold discussions surrounding recent events of police brutality and racism and push for the University to release a GW police Department climate survey in a statement Sunday.
Following the deaths of four black Americans who were killed at the hands of police officers in recent months, SA leaders wrote that they are working to host a discussion about police brutality and white supremacy and held virtual office hours Monday for those who wished to talk through the past events. SA Executive Vice President Brandon Hill and SA President Howard Brookins wrote that they will personally make donations to the Chicago Community Bond Fund and Minnesota Freedom Fund in the wake of protests responding to police violence.
“As the first all-black Student Association leadership team, in recent memory, we stand at the forefront of ensuring an equitable experience for all students,” Hill and Brookins wrote. “This is why we find it pertinent to assure you that the Student Association believes that Black Lives Matter. We strongly stand in solidarity with the Black Men’s Initiative, the Black Student Union and all of the grieving black students on this campus, as well as support their calls to action and demands fellow students, administrators and D.C. public officials.”
SA leaders said they are a resource for predominately white student organizations that are interested in helping but unsure how, adding that members are planning to create a guide about how student organizations can “create an actively anti-racist environment.”
The SA letter states that organization members involved in the Safety and Security Advisory board will push for a GWPD climate survey once students are able to return to campus, similar to a survey Georgetown University’s student government advocated for. SA leaders involved with the board will also press officials to implement unconscious bias training for all GWPD officers, the letter states.
Hill said the letter aims to educate and “reeducate” white peers on how everyone can support students and restructure oppressed systems in one’s own organization. He said “at the very least” he hopes black students feel valued on campus.
He said the SA aims to continue partnerships with GWPD, the Divisions of Safety and Security and administrators in the fall to provide safety for students on campus.
“I hope that when people look back and wonder how the Student Association felt on certain topics they know without a shadow of a doubt that we believe all black lives matter,” Hill said.