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An Open Letter to the Students of Bowling Green State University

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November 25, 2016

An Open Letter to the Students of Bowling Green State University,

We, as women of color faculty and staff, are collectively writing to tell you that we are angered by the environment of dehumanizing speech and racist actions on and around this campus. Even as this letter is written in the wake of the 2016 election; this is not a response to that election. This is a call to action. This is a message of solidarity.

We know that you made an incredibly hard decision to come to Bowling Green State University. We know that this was a hopeful decision--one that would put you on a path to achieve your wildest dreams. You left your families, your friends, your neighborhood, and your community. We had to make those decisions as well. We, too, miss our people. We understand the relief of finding friends and making family at the university.

We are so excited that you are here in our classrooms, at the Student Union, walking with your friends, joining organizations, playing for athletic teams, winning academic awards--experiencing all of what Bowling Green State University has to offer. It doesn’t escape us when you make yourself smaller. Your hoods are up. Your music is louder. You don’t make eye contact. Your language is overly formal. We, too, have had to make those adjustments.

Our hearts break for you.

You feel unsafe in this, your home.

We, too, feel unsafe.

You feel invisible and yet hypervisible.

You are not alone.

We see you. We hear you.

We will work alongside you to make transformative change.

We affirm your presence. It is your right to pursue an education without fear or intimidation. You have the right to express your dissent, your desires, your needs, and your fears.

Your voice is valuable. Your presence is instrumental. Your experiences are more than one chapter in one book taught at the end of the semester. You are the catalyst of change. You make BG.

We raise our voices along with yours. We love you.

In solidarity,

Nicole Jackson, Rebecca J. Kinney, Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, Sarah Tekle, Michaela Walsh

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