Skip to main content
LAVC Anti-racism logo

"Systems need to be dismantled and new equity-minded institutions that recognize the humanity of all people must replace them."

Context

hide

Black Lives Matter is about Human Rights

The Context of LAVC's Call to Action

On May 25, 2020 the world watched as police officer Derek Chauvin blatantly and wantonly ignored the pleas of George Floyd indicating that he could not breathe. With a knee on his neck, Chauvin let all of us know how little he valued black lives.  The officers who were with him, through their actions, indicated that they also adhere to a system of policing that allows for this type of treatment of African Americans.  This example of systemic racism is not new in our society: Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Oscar Grant, and Breonna Taylor are just a few of the many recent victims who have been denied not only their basic civil liberties, but also their lives, because of the color of their skin.   
 
Floyd’s death justifiably sparked an outrage across our nation that can be aptly compared with the outrage that developed after the lynching of Emmett Till in 1955.  The anger and disgust over Till’s death was a catalyst for the modern civil rights movement.  And now, Floyd’s death has alerted us that we still have more work to do.  The advances of the civil rights movement, while noteworthy, are not enough.  We must stamp out racism in all facets of our society – policing, employment, housing, education, etc. Systems need to be dismantled and new equity-minded institutions that recognize the humanity of all people must replace them. 
 
Los Angeles Valley College is committed to being a campus that values diversity and inclusion and is diametrically opposed to any type of racism on our campus or in our community.  
 
Our committee is dedicated to doing the work to ensure that these types of travesties do not continue to exist in our society.  Our work here must reflect that.  Los Angeles Valley College is committed to being an Anti-Racist campus.  We know that this cannot just be something we simply state, but that it requires direct, intentional action on our part.  Not only do Black Lives Matter, but our Black students and staff are valued assets to our LAVC community.  This is our Call To Action!  Please take a moment to reflect upon what it means to be truly anti-racist and make a commitment to join us in this effort.

Black Lives Matter is about Human Rights

LAVC’s anti-racism commitment asserts Black Lives Matter as a human rights issue. We strive to dismantle systemic structures, disrupt individual and organizational behavior, and shift beliefs and norms that devalue Black students, faculty, staff, and members of the LAVC community.  We promote efforts to ensure equity for Black/ African- Americans.  While focusing on the necessary improvements for Black lives to matter, we acknowledge issues of intersectionality and remain committed to being an inclusive campus community.

The call to action around Black Lives Matter is grounded in the sociohistorical marginalization and violence against Black people in the United States and beyond. In the American context, the pervasiveness of systemic racism across social institutions, police brutality, devaluation and dehumanization of Black lives warrants a systemic response to disrupt the status quo.  This position does not say that Black lives matter more than other lives, but strives to have Black lives matter as much as other lives.  It asserts that until Black lives truly matter, all lives matter, as a position, promotes the racist policies that have maintained the institutional racism and anti-Blackness that are ingrained in our culture.  The unique context of African Americans with social justice and equal rights is further documented on The Context of LAVC’s Call to Action web page.

The BLM movement has grown beyond the #BlackLivesMatter social media mobilization, established in 2013 in response to the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin and developing with subsequent instances of police brutality and killings, to represent a global call to action to end systemic racism.  As a social movement, Black Lives Matter advocates non-violent civil disobedience in protest against police brutality and racial inequality.  There is not a singular approach or call for specific policies or laws. The beauty of BLM is its decentralization, allowing for inclusivity and diverse modes of action for change.  We do not have to subscribe to every action, but recognize the general philosophy and goals of the Black Lives Matter social movement, seeking “to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes,” and “combating and countering acts of violence, creating space for Black imagination and innovation, and centering Black joy, [for] immediate improvements in our lives.” (adapted from BLM Mission 1/10/2021).

We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all those exercising their right to peaceful protest calling for social justice and protection of human rights.

Black Scholars Matter Fund