Dear administrators, faculty, staff, and students of The Claremont Colleges:

The Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies join the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies of the Claremont Colleges and other people of conscience throughout the world in condemning the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, as well as those who came before, including Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Botham Jean, Laquan McDonald, Freddy Gray, Tyisha Miller, and Irvin Landrum, Jr. here in Claremont, among too many others. Their murders are the latest violent reminder of the continuing legacy of anti-Black racism in the United States, the institutionalization of white supremacy, and the need for structural transformation. Despite centuries of struggle for the basic human dignity of Black people in this country, it is enraging that this country is still in a place where once again millions of voices, including ours, must clamor for recognition of what should already be a given, that BLACK LIVES MATTER.

The Intercollegiate Departments of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and Asian American Studies write in solidarity and to honor the legacy of the struggle for racial justice that is central to our fields. The field of Ethnic Studies—including Africana Studies, Chicana/o Latina/o Studies, and Asian American Studies—emerged from the Third World Liberation Strikes of the 1960s, the longest student strike in US history. The struggle for Ethnic Studies was based on the collective solidarity of diverse groups of people who experienced both shared and divergent histories of enslavement, conquest, genocide, imperialist wars and interventions, forced labor, territorial dispossession, and displacement and migration. This solidarity was predicated on the shared goals of racial justice, class struggle, and social transformation.

The Intercollegiate Departments of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and Asian American Studies urge the administration of the Claremont Colleges to move beyond “performative allyship” that limits their forms of solidarity to rhetorical platitudes that fall far short of real systemic change. We echo the demands of our Africana Studies colleagues for substantive, material commitments—including but not limited to, funding initiatives, faculty and staff hiring, departmental and curricular expansion, and student recruitment and retention—to begin to address the pervasive culture of anti-Blackness at the Claremont Colleges. As the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies letter states:

The actions taken by the Claremont Colleges must amount to much more than words and promises. Decision-makers must measure and analyze the ways in which our colleges have—knowingly or not—abided by anti-Black premises in their historical and current operations, including the structuring of curricula, the shaping of student bodies, and the composing of professorates. This introspective analysis must produce quantifiable, material responses to the pattern of anti-Blackness that will inevitably be exposed.

We want the administration to take seriously what our colleagues in Africana Studies have identified as “the deep psychic, physical, and spiritual damage produced by a system of anti-Blackness that continually diminishes our humanity and that demands redress.” We urge the administration to create systems of support and appropriate compensation to address the incalculable damages that this systemic dehumanization has on Black faculty, staff, and students at the Claremont Colleges.

The Intercollegiate Departments of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and Asian American Studies stand in solidarity with BLACK LIVES MATTER. We acknowledge the importance of Black Studies in the formation of Chicanx Latinx Studies, Asian American Studies, and the overall field of Ethnic Studies. We recognize the importance of Africa and its Diaspora in the formation of Latinx identities and politics and the histories of Black-Asian coalitions against US imperialism. We reject attempts to fuel divisions and pit communities against each other in ways that maintain racial capitalism, white supremacy and the power elite. We are committed to confronting anti-Blackness in our communities and urge other communities to do the same: to engage in the difficult yet necessary process of examining how white supremacy is internalized at both an individual and systemic level, and to dedicate both oneself and the institutions of which we are a part to the cause of anti-racism and, more specifically, to eradicating anti-Blackness. As communities in solidarity, we stand with all Black people in declaring that BLACK LIVES MATTER and believe that this ongoing systemic violence against Black communities can only be stopped through fundamental structural change.

The Intercollegiate Departments of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies and Asian American Studies express our concerns as a way to move forward together, as a College and as a community, to transform our collective campuses, focused on a shared vision for racial justice—a vision that recognizes how the weight of history has impacted where we are today, as we strive to imagine and create a more just and equitable institution where BLACK LIVES MATTER.

Signed,

Rita Cano Alcalá, Associate Professor, Scripps College

Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Chicana/o Latina/o Studies

Todd Honma, Associate Professor, Pitzer College

Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies

Guadalupe A. Bacio, Assistant Professor, Pomona College

Aimee Bahng, Associate Professor, Pomona College

Jih-Fei Cheng, Assistant Professor, Scripps College

Wendy Cheng, Associate Professor, Scripps College

Stacey Doan, Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College

Alfred Flores, Assistant Professor, Harvey Mudd College

Martha González, Associate Professor, Scripps College

Sharon Goto, Professor, Pomona College

Wei-Chin Hwang, Professor, Claremont McKenna College

Azamat Junisbai, Associate Professor, Pitzer College

Thomas Kim, Associate Professor, Scripps College

Warren Liu, Associate Professor, Scripps College

Joyce Lu, Associate Professor, Pomona College

Ming-Yuen S Ma, Professor, Pitzer College

Lynne Miyake, Professor, Pomona College

Gilda L. Ochoa, Professor, Pomona College

Giovanni Molina Ortega, Assistant Professor, Pomona College

Suyapa G. Portillo Villeda, Associate Professor, Pitzer College

María Gutiérrez Soldatenko, Associate Professor, Pitzer College

Tomás F. Summers Sandoval, Associate Professor, Pomona College

Hung Cam Thai, Professor, Pomona College

Miguel Tinker Salas, Professor, Pomona College

Tamara Venit-Shelton, Associate Professor, Claremont McKenna College

Linus Yamane, Professor, Pitzer College

Kathy Yep, Professor, Pitzer College

Arely Zimmerman, Assistant Professor, Pomona College

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Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies Statement

Dear students, faculty, staff, and administrators of The Claremont Colleges,

We address you filled with sadness, outrage, and exasperation in the aftermath of the recent murder of George Floyd. His brutal killing, coupled with those of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, represent only the latest and most visible examples of an anti-Black racism endemic to the American psyche, one that poisons so many of the nation’s institutions. The eruption of social action in the wake of these horrors demonstrates a widespread recognition that anti- Blackness, whether expressed individually or systemically, cannot stand.

We, the Chairs of the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies, on behalf of the department, insist that, without delay, the students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the Claremont Colleges step into the moment by pledging to root out the scourge of anti-Blackness wherever it is discovered and however it manifests itself in the culture and operations of the Colleges. We call upon the campus community to commit itself to genuine introspection and ongoing dialogue with Black groups, while also immediately taking concrete, proactive steps to safeguard the interests and promote the well-being of its Black cohorts.

The actions taken by the Claremont Colleges must amount to much more than words and promises. Decision-makers must measure and analyze the ways in which our colleges have— knowingly or not—abided by anti-Black premises in their historical and current operations, including the structuring of curricula, the shaping of student bodies, and the composing of professorates. This introspective analysis must produce quantifiable, material responses to the pattern of anti-Blackness that will inevitably be exposed.

Substantive, consequential, and measurable programs that address anti-Blackness must be devised and implemented. Unless and until that happens, we here at the Claremont Colleges cannot claim to have sincerely borne witness to the killings of Taylor, Arbery, Floyd, and countless others and to the deep psychic, physical, and spiritual damage produced by a system of anti-Blackness that continually diminishes our humanity and that demands redress.

Sheila Walker

Laura Vausbinder Hockett Endowed Professor Department of Psychology

Scripps College and

Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies

The Claremont Colleges

Derik Smith Associate Professor

Department of Literature Claremont McKenna College and

Incoming Chair, Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies

The Claremont Colleges