Continuing the conversation after joint statement from BLSA and SBA
Statement from Dean Marc Miller
Arizona Law Family,
We are living history, multiple times over.
But the brutal murder of George Floyd is not just a moment in history. It is personal, and terrifying.
This isn't the first time we've heard a Black man say, "I can't breathe," before dying at the hands of police.
And it isn't just police: this was not the first video we've seen this year where a Black man was killed and his race is the reason.
There are many social justice leaders and thoughtful commentators trying to make sense of the pain of this moment and calling for justice.
Public and private figures from all walks of life have stepped forward and stepped up to seize the moment, help us all understand what we have seen and are seeing, and strive for justice. I found Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's commentary striking.
There are vast numbers of people on the streets around our country, and abroad, who are screaming in pain. Who are demanding change.
We join with those voices.
Among the statements from our hearts here at Arizona Law is one issued by the executive boards of the Black Law Students Association and the Student Bar Association.
I fully welcome and endorse this statement, and I encourage you to read it carefully.
As a law school, we can, must, and will do and say more about systemic racism, racially motivated violence, inequality, police brutality, and elevating historically oppressed voices. We must confront not just this moment, but the centuries-long history of Black people suffering violence from individuals and institutions in power.
We welcome the invitation to work closely with BLSA and our entire community to nurture a deep and sustained conversation in the year ahead that prompts meaningful change.
We had already planned for major civil rights speakers this fall. Among other steps, we will also focus the sessions hosted by our Program on Criminal Law and Policy on policing after the killing of George Floyd. We are committed to listening, to learning, to doing more.
Here at the University of Arizona, students, staff, faculty, and alumni have cried out.
The UA Native American Law Students Association and the Latino Law Student Association offer their voices of solidarity, below.
You can read the statement from University of Arizona President Bobby Robbins here.
I write this with sorrow, and with a heavy sense of the responsibility we bear as a law school and university.
"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." —Martin Luther King Jr.
We will not be silent.
Black Lives Matter.
I write now, kneeling, with hope against history, and with intense awareness of the enduring challenge to us as teachers, students, scholars, and lawyers.
Statement from the Native American Law Students Association
Dear UArizona Law community,
The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) stands against racism. We stand with our fellow Black Law Student Association (BLSA) family and the entire African American community. The events over the past two weeks have been painful to watch. As law students and Native Americans, we fully support all who stand for a just and equal legal system, not one that entices or encourages violence. Statistics show African Americans and Native Americans suffer the highest rates of police brutality in the United States and live in fear of death and violence at the hands of law enforcement. Our communities are subject to use of excessive force and homicidal measures by police officers, often without repercussions.
As Americans, we need to educate ourselves, have more honest conversations and acknowledge that we have a lot of work to do to move toward a more equitable society, for ourselves and future generations. It is our sincere hope that this painful period of civil unrest will bring about the profound systemic changes that our communities so desperately need and deserve.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies are with the family of George Floyd and the many others who have experienced similar losses. NALSA stands in solidarity with BLSA and the larger black community because Black Lives Matter.
Native American Law Students Association, The University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
Statement from the Latino Law Student Association
The Latino Law Student Association (LLSA) at the James E. Rogers College of Law stands in solidarity with our fellow peers in the Black Law Student Association (BLSA) and the Black Lives Matter movement. We see you, we hear you, and we support you. We join you in your grief and in your fight.
Racial injustice has been a reality in this country for far too long. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Dion Johnson, and George Floyd are only recent manifestations of the structural racism that disproportionately affects the black community. It is abhorrent that black lives are threatened and taken daily-that everyday activities like sleeping, exercising, or shopping needlessly escalate and result in tragic deaths. We cannot stand for the blatant disregard of black lives. Black lives are not disposable and those inflicting violence must be held accountable. Justice has no place for impunity.
This is a time of deep reflection-a time to consider the culture of anti-blackness perpetrated within our own culture. We cannot sit idle and we cannot stay silent. It would be unconscionable if we, at this time, allow our own biases to go unchecked, harming our brothers and sisters in struggle. We are committed to acknowledging our own privilege, holding our communities accountable, and being active in dismantling these systems. We urge the Latinx community to support the fight against police brutality and racially motivated killings in order to establish a just society, free of racial oppression. United we are stronger.
In solidarity, LLSA has donated a total of $100 to the Tucson Second Chance Community Bail Fund and the Black People's Justice Fund -- Metro Phoenix. At a time when our nation's leadership fails us, we cannot fail each other. We encourage our members, other Arizona Law student organizations, as well as the rest of the Tucson community to be active: donate to black activist groups, sign petitions, call upon elected officials, register to vote, become informed, and amplify the voices of those who are not heard.
¡Su lucha es nuestra lucha! Black Lives Matter.
The LLSA Executive Board
Statement from the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Dear UArizona Community,
The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association (APALSA) stands in solidarity with the African American Community and with the Black Law Students Association (BLSA). We stand for the end of racism, systemic injustice, and police brutality. The African American community has suffered a long history of being discriminated against, and their pleas for change have been ignored.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are often subject to racial discrimination and assault, which has been amplified in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Systemic racism and racialized violence are happening in the communities we serve on a personal and professional basis. We support the worldwide protests that are a call for positive change. We hope that the protesters’ advocacy for equal treatment, and non-violent police conduct will be heard. We will continue to educate ourselves, and will work with any and all groups supporting equality. We would like to create positive change and support Dr. Martin Luther King’s pursuit that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.
We send our love, support, and deepest sympathies to the family of George Floyd, the families who have lost a loved one to police violence, and all those who have been affected by police brutality and ongoing racism. “All Men are Created Equal.” Black Lives Matter.
In Solidarity, The Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
James E Rogers College of Law