Statement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: N’Kaela Webster & Matheo Vidal
Email: bsa@nd.edu & cdems@nd.edu

Joint Statement on the murder of George Floyd

Calling for structural change at the University of Notre Dame

NOTRE DAME, IN, June 1 — In response to the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the University of Notre Dame Black Student Association and Notre Dame College Democrats released the following joint statement:

The Black Student Association and the College Democrats of Notre Dame strongly condemn police brutality and demand justice for all victims of violence and racism at the hands of those who purport to “protect and serve”. All levels of government need to call for and implement swift and comprehensive police reform.

George Floyd was murdered under the knee of Derek Chauvin while pleading for his life; a brutal death in a pattern of racially motivated police brutality across the country. We call for the immediate arrest and charging of all four officers involved in his murder. They must be held accountable. George Floyd deserved life, and his family deserves justice.

We condemn the words and actions of the current President. Our country is in public mourning and furious with the state of systemic racism, yet the President chooses to stoke racial tension and incite violence against Black people instead of providing meaningful leadership.

We call upon the University of Notre Dame administration to do more beyond their insufficient few sentences about this monumental injustice. It is striking to continue to see nothing more than a 50-year-old image plastered across campus, telling of the inaction on behalf of the University in the decades since. As a Catholic Institution, we expect Notre Dame to follow Catholic Social Teachings and actively fight to end the racial injustice that Black students on campus face every day.  Furthermore, the University should provide real anti-racism training and dialogue to staff and students, stand with Black students in instances of racism, and hold non-black students accountable before condemning Black students for standing up for what is right. The diversity training that is currently in place is not sufficient. Being a predominantly White institution, Notre Dame has a responsibility to teach students to be anti-racist and to advocate for the black lives on campus.

George Floyd is not the only Black person whose life has been senselessly taken. This racial injustice happens every day. George Floyd.  Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery.  Tanisha Anderson. Tony McDade. Bettie Jones. Trayvon Martin. The list goes on. Black Lives Matter, now and always.

We commend Notre Dame Student Government for releasing a statement on this matter and look forward to working in conjunction with them on enacting systemic and long-lasting change at Notre Dame. Structural criminal justice reform is the only way to save Black lives. Staying silent on this issue enables oppression, and it is the responsibility of people in a position of power to take an appropriate stance. We refuse to turn a blind eye to structural issues that continue to plague our nation, our communities, and our University.

N’Kaela Webster

President, Black Student Association

Matheo Vidal

Co-President, College Democrats of Notre Dame

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The Black Student Association and College Democrats are working actively to combat racism and spread awareness of this constant racial injustice. We stand with the protesters across the country. If you would like to help uplift Black Americans, the following resources are at your disposal:

Text “Floyd” to 55156 to demand the officers who killed George Floyd be brought to justice.

Minnesota Freedom Fund: https://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

Reclaim the Block: https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/

Petition for George Floyd: https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd

George Floyd Memorial Fund: https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd

Black Lives Matter: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ms_blm_homepage_2019

NAACP legal defense fund: https://www.naacpldf.org/

Equal justice initiative: https://eji.org/

Black Visions Collective: https://www.blackvisionsmn.org/

Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org/