This coalition builds from a long history of struggle that can be dated back to 1968, when various groups of Black, Puerto Rican, Latinx, and white ally students at Brooklyn College fought to establish what we know today as the Africana Studies and Puerto Rican and Latino Studies departments.
Now, our struggle points out the ways in which white supremacy, anti-Blackness and racism are enacted on campus. In addition, we emphasize the connections that these have with issues of austerity, a culture of retaliation from the part of administrators, and many other normalized practices.
Who we are:
We are students, staff, and faculty who recognize that systemic racism is a primary impediment to institutional change at Brooklyn College. We are adamant that white-supremacy is only recognized through power relations and that it’s dismantling requires control over material resources. While conscious and unconscious biases are reflected in all manners of campus culture, we prioritize self-determination and control over material resources as the only means of implementing institutional change. Our coming together is a challenge to the practices that have long isolated marginalized groups on campus through institutional logics and rationales that maintain the status quo.
We seek transformational solidarity with members of our community who embrace the necessity to struggle internally within faculty and staff groups, departments, and programs and the cultivation of a more empowered student body. We seek an administration whose idea of leadership is collaborative and responsive to our struggle against anti-blackness, coloniality, and other intersecting forms of dominance. Lastly, we reject rhetoric and token symbolism as a form of maintenance.
What we want:
We seek to create long-lasting institutional (not institutionalized) change in Brooklyn College to ensure the advancement and success of BIPOC students, faculty, and staff.
Our coalition originated from the two lists of initial demands written in June 11th, 2020 and June 16th, 2020 by the following groups:
Puerto Rican Alliance Demands
After a long history of struggle, the Puerto Rican Alliance, along with a collective of students, faculty and staff, wrote a powerful letter to the Brooklyn College Administration.
From departments, to alumni, many community members singed onto the letter of demands seeking change on campus. While this is not the first of the many letters that PRA has drafted and handed to the BC Administration, it gained traction through community networks and
Black Faculty and Staff Organization, Latino Faculty and Staff Organization, and Faculty of Color Group Demands
A series of faculty and staff organizations came together to write an extremely influential letter demanding the Brooklyn College Administration to address anti-Blackness and racism on campus. Their demands address issues of retaliation from the current BC Administration, austerity and its connections to racism and anti-Blackness, and the overall call to eradicate white supremacy on campus.
This letter was later endorsed by the Brooklyn College Chapter of the Professional Staff Congress, and gained CUNY-wide support from departments throughout the system.
(Some) News Reportings of our July 2nd, 2020 action to President Michelle J. Anderson’s Brooklyn College home:
Additional images from the demonstration at 115 Westminster Road, Michelle J. Anderson’s address (a publicly-owned home that each BC President is given the option to occupy).
“Young people have a duty to defend their country with weapons of knowledge”– Pedro Albizu Campos