• GW College Democrats Executive Board

Plan of Action to Support Black Students On Campus and Beyond

CONTACT:

Amira Al Amin, ​VP of Diversity and Inclusion​ – amiraalamin@gwu.edu

Jovawn McNeil, ​Programming Director​ – jmcneil99@gwu.edu

The recent events circulating the country have had us all in utter shock. For most of us, it has caused great amounts of pain. Pain for our Black brothers and sisters who have continuously witnessed their people being tortured, abused, and killed throughout the history of America. Pain at the responses of the privileged dismissing the notion of Black lives mattering and instead demonizing the righteousness of civil unrest to bitter violence. Pain at the world for waiting so long to fight back.

What Black Americans have endured for centuries is nothing to ignore or dismiss when discussing the fight for justice. GW College Democrats condemns any and all acts of discrimination or racism towards any minority or marginalized group, but with the recent escalation of violence towards unarmed Black women and men, we focus on discrimination at the hands of the police state. We would like to apologize to the Black community as a whole, especially those at GW, for not advocating for the Black community in a powerful and productive way in the past. As an organization, we recognize that the police state has always been a violent and dangerous institution that has continuously abused its power against Black Americans. We recognize that police brutality did not begin with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Philando Castille, or Eric Garner, but with the origin of the United States of America and the racism that has underpinned its history.

The GW College Democrats Department for Diversity and Inclusion has been digesting all amounts of shock, pain, and anguish that the country has been spitting out, and has plans to fight back with action. We, as a department, value diversity and inclusion in more ways than we have in the past, and with people of color holding the majority of positions within our department, we believe that we have the proper representation and experience to appropriately speak on issues that impact communities of color. We formally re-established our Racial and Ethnic Justice committee this year and established a policy department which seeks to tackle various issues facing our campus and country, including the pressing need for criminal justice reform. We plan to increase minority engagement through events and activities that directly impact them, and will incorporate these not only in our individual departments, but throughout GWCD as a whole.

We plan to create strong ties with organizations of color throughout GW, through the implementation of bi-monthly roundtables with multicultural organizations to increase communication and collaboration on events. However, there is so much more that needs to be done and we have been working diligently throughout this week to plan events for our organization that encourage engagement with the Black Lives Matter Movement. As well as this, we will be doing as much as we can to work alongside Black organizations not just during this time but continuously in the future.

In response to the George Floyd murder, we have planned a call to action for Tuesday, June 2nd, as well as a public and virtual discussion on police brutality that will be cohosted with multiple Black organizations at GW. We support not only the country-wide protests but the reasoning behind them, as leaders both past and present have expressed the importance of making issues that take place in marginalized communities seen and heard. Listed below in our call to action are links to donate and sign petitions, and activities to help not only with George Floyd’s case but the Black Lives Matter movement in general.

As an organization that represents and protects so many, we have a duty to be a helping hand as well as a leading advocate in the fight for justice across the social justice spectrum. We recognize our privilege as a majority white organization at GW, and vow to improve not only our marginalized representation but how we handle issues that affect these communities because we represent, benefit from, and fight alongside them. GW College Democrats have a long way to go, but we hope that with this message we take a larger step towards gaining the respect and appreciation of Black organizations on campus as well as multicultural organizations as a whole.


Call to Action Plans

In order to further advocate for not only the conviction of all four officers involved with George Floyd’s murder but to fight against systemic injustice as a whole, we have created a list of several events that we plan to announce over the coming weeks. To start, we will we be launching our first phonebank/email writing campaign on Tuesday to urge Minnesota officials to charge Officer Chauvin with 1st degree murder in George Floyd’s case and to arrest and prosecute the other three officers involved in his murder to the fullest extent of the law. We will be reaching out to every level of the system, from state legislators to the attorney general's office to U.S. Senators, demanding justice be served. Furthermore, we plan to do other email writing campaigns to U.S. Congressional offices demanding further reform within police departments across the country.

Additionally, we will be fundraising for George Floyd's family, organizations paying protesters' bail and legal fees, and other groups. Below, we have included a list of petitions that you can sign, and organizations that you can donate to. Please sign as many petitions as you can and donate as much as you are able – every single action makes a difference. We hope that the entire GW community recognizes that this is the time to be a part of the movement for change, in the hopes of getting close to full equality for a group that has been deprived of it for the entirety of U.S. history. It is up to us to get involved in any way we can to make a difference.


Donations

GoFundMe to help the Floyd family https://www.gofundme.com/f/georgefloyd?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_ca mpaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Columbus Freedom Fund ​– Bail for protestors being arrested in Ohio https://www.paypal.me/columbusfreedomfund

Black Visions Minneapolis​ – Organization led by Black Queer/Trans people helping at the front lines in Minnesota https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2

Food Justice for Frontliners ​–​ ​Donation for frontliners and those in need in Minnesota.https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=jm-r_j1vlqymtAzSpV42WDDJom6-qqrO2sXO-9IIMlFOb KnWEzGCLhr1QVS8zCRGLxcKkm&country.x=US&locale.x=US

Louisville Community Bail Fund ​–​ ​Bailing out Louisville protestors https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/louisville-community-bail-fund/

Twin Cities Recovery Project ​– Providing mental health aid via grief and trauma groups run for and by African Americans https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=HftLjme58lQDNVslOqjBT2NhgrElRvCUuQude4lCvBixry 2BnUUjNdGx1Zpa5fOPIXXnsG&country.x=US&locale.x=US

Minnesota Freedom Fund ​–​ ​Organization bailing out Minneapolis protestershttps://minnesotafreedomfund.org/donate

Reclaim the Block ​–​ ​Grassroots organization in Minnesota helping frontliners as well as those in need https://secure.everyaction.com/zae4prEeKESHBy0MKXTIcQ2

Fundraiser for Sha’Teina El Grady ​– Sha’Teina was attacked by Washtenaw County Police and this fundraiser will help with medical and legal needs https://www.gofundme.com/f/bond-for-shateina-el-grady

National Bail Out ​– ​Black-led and Black-centered collective of abolitionist organizers, lawyers, and activists building a community-based movement to support our folks and end systems of pretrial detention and ultimately mass incarceration.https://secure.actblue.com/donate/freeblackmamas2020

Scores Sports Bar Minneapolis Rebuild ​– Fund to rebuild a Black-owned business and community staple damaged during protest crackdown https://www.gofundme.com/f/scores-bar-mpls-riot-rebuild?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium= social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet

Native American Community Center​ – Damaged during protest crackdown https://www.givemn.org/organization/Migizi-Communications

BOLD (Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity) Organization training the next generation of Black organizers and leaders https://boldorganizing.org/donate/

Dignity and Power Now Helping nonprofits that advance the public good get startedhttps://donatenow.networkforgood.org/communitypartners/?designation=Dignity%20and%20P ower%20Now

Organizing for Black Struggle Helping the Black community gain political power to fight against oppression https://www.obs-stl.org/donate/

Petitions

Justice For George Floyd via Change.Org https://www.change.org/p/mayor-jacob-frey-justice-for-george-floyd?recruiter=1096617288&utm _source=share_petition&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_te rm=psf_combo_share_abi&recruited_by_id=2943f820-a174-11ea-b563-a538d17ee3bd

Justice For George Floyd via Color of Change https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/justiceforfloyd_george_floyd_minneapolis

LA Petition to prosecute police who continue to kill unarmed Black people https://campaigns.organizefor.org/petitions/los-angeles-county-da-prosecute-police-who-kill-our- people

Endorse the BLM In School Week of Action https://www.change.org/p/national-black-lives-matter-in-school-week-of-action-endorse-the-201 9-national-black-lives-matter-in-school-week-of-action

Justice for Breonna Taylor https://www.change.org/p/andy-beshear-justice-for-breonna-taylor

Justice for Tony McDade https://www.change.org/p/black-lives-matter-activists-justice-for-tony-mcdade