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Statement from the Staff Senate Executive Board in Solidarity with Black Lives Matter

The Staff Senate Executive Board stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.

Over the past few weeks we have seen peaceful demonstrations supported by every race, religion, and ethnic background; standing and kneeling in solidarity with the black community. Citizens across the country are exercising their First Amendment rights to peacefully protest the killing of George Floyd and the systems that have allowed police brutality and racism to continue in our country. The heartbreaking reality is that this has been accepted as normal for far too long.

Racism is a public health crisis. Our friends and colleagues in the black community live with some measure of fear and uncertainty every day. In addition to the police brutality that sparked these protests, we have also seen the alarming reports that the COVID-19 mortality rate for black people in the US is more than twice as high as the rate for white people. This research estimates that if the mortality rates were equal, some 13,000 black people would still be alive today. This is unnecessary and unacceptable. The recent killings ignited outrage over the deadly impact of racism against black people in the United States, but is clear that this is not an isolated problem or limited to police brutality.

Now, more than ever, we must remain dedicated to work on dismantling racism in our country and on our campus. For all of us, this should feel personal. We will, individually and collectively, work twice as hard to listen, learn, and demand change.

We will not be silent. We will open our hearts and minds and join with each other as part of the TCNJ community to build campus relationships and systems that are absent of all prejudices and discrimination and embraced total inclusiveness.

As the elected representatives of the staff, the Staff Senate welcomes the opportunity to be a leader on campus as we demand a change that demonstrates through word and action that Black Lives Matter.

Joe O’Brien
TCNJ Staff Senate President
Senior Director of Business Operations and Services
Office of Information Technology

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