Message from the Dean of Students: June 1, 2020
Cooper Union Students,
I don’t have the words right now to express exactly how I am feeling, and I’m not going to pretend that I do. I do know, though, that I am angry, and I know that I care deeply about each and every one of you.
I know that many of you are also angry and are mobilizing in different ways to join the fight against white supremacy, racism in all its insidious forms, and the killing of black and brown people.
One thing I can do now is try to provide you with some initial resources. But first, I want to thank The Black Student Union and the Cooper Climate Coalition for organizing a community gathering and discussion session earlier today. There were over 70 students, faculty, and staff together in that space. Many of the resources I share here are from that session earlier today.
First and foremost – take care of yourselves and each other. Here are some links to resources that may be helpful.
- Self-Care Tips for Black People who are Feeling Overwhelmed by Rachel Miller / Vice
- Virtual Mental Health Resources Supporting Black People Right Now from bon appétit (thank you to the School of Art Student Mental Health Group for sharing this)
- General Cooper Union Student Care Resources
Safety and Support at Protests and Demonstrations
Many have reached out for support should they choose to attend protests and demonstrations. Here are some resources including how to get support if they find themselves under arrest as a result of participating in a protest and demonstrations.
- Safety During Protests by Amnesty International
- Protestor’s Rights by the ACLU
- The Bail Project
- Information on Bail and Bail Systems produced through Public Access Design
Learn What We Can Do
Many of us often struggle to figure out what we can do and how we can help to combat racism and systemic oppression. One thing we can all do is learn about the issues and then reflect and provide space for our own growth and learning. There’s a lot here to reconcile. It is our responsibility to be educated so we can be open to changing and challenging ourselves first and then act in the world.
An important place to start is for white people to become educated about the black and brown lived experience and not to expect communities of color to do the educating. People of color battle daily, historic oppression – both implicit and explicit. Those who don’t carry that burden must take on the responsibility ofactively learning all they can. Many of us are guests in this movement and should be ready and willing to listen to oppressed communities, and the oppressed in our Cooper Union community, and offer support without centering whiteness. As a community, we need to boost oppressed voices and be willing to listen.
Here are some resources you may wish to explore:
- Anti-Racism Resources compiled by linktr.ee/serge.azor
- Mapping our Social Change Roles in Times of Crisis by Deepa Iyer
- To Stop, Listen, and Act – Ways You can Help (includes ways to donate time and other resources)compiled by IndieWire
I pledge to work with all of you to help make The Cooper Union the institution that it should be, the institution we all came here to be part of. It and we are deserving of nothing less.
Dean of Students