To Our Peers, Professors, And Administrators:
Marquette University Law School Student Bar Association writes to you today to address the tragedy that we as a community and a country have faced in the last three weeks. Not one of a pandemic, but rather the state-sanctioned murders of Black Americans. Namely, Ahmaud Arbery, Nina Pop, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless others. Their deaths are not novel, and we would be remiss to categorize them as such. Their deaths are the tragic manifestation of a long-standing system of racial oppression that continues to unjustly claim the lives of Black Americans.
We want to be loud and exceptionally clear: SBA believes Black Lives Matter. We are an anti-racist organization, and we condemn every form of racism. We stand in solidarity with the members of the Black Law Student Association, the Black community of Marquette University, and the Black community around the world.
As law students and future legal professionals, it is our responsibility to recognize the vital role we all play in creating a more just system. In assuming this responsibility, we encourage you to be actively antiracist in your own life, and educate yourself on racism in America. For this, you can access Tasha K. Ryals’ Shareable Anti-racism Resource Guide.
SBA will continue to stand in solidarity with our Black peers in an effort to create an inclusive environment where all students feel valued, heard, and respected. We fully support the list of demands that the Black Law Student Association recently presented to our Law School Administration. We firmly believe that the experience of all students will be enriched by implementing these demands.
No longer will SBA be silent, and thus complicit, on issues that have affected our Black peers. In addition to supporting BLSA’s demands, we will:
- Meet monthly with the student-leaders of BLSA, Asian Law Student Association, and Hispanic-Latino Law Student Association to discuss the needs of our students of color and whether our community is doing enough to meet those needs.
- Co-host event(s) with BLSA to bring attention to overt and covert racism and educate our community on how to be actively anti-racist.
- Partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America to increase our presence within Milwaukee Public Schools.
- Work with our Law School Administration to implement yearly, mandatory implicit bias training for law school students, professors, staff, and administration.
SBA cannot and will not allow our community to normalize the brutalization and killings of Black Americans. We know this important and necessary work will be a long journey, but we are committed to fostering a healthy and safe environment within our law school community and the Milwaukee community at large.
To our Black peers and professors, we hear you, we see you, and we will continue to fight alongside you today and every day.
Your 2020-2021 Student Bar Association
Zach Lowe, President
Kristen Cherry, Vice President