WGQS at Cal Poly: Statement in Solidarity with Black Lives

The murders of Sean Reed, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Tony McDade are only a few of the most recent examples of the brutal, chilling, appalling, and ongoing anti-Black violence perpetrated by settler colonialisms, white supremacy, and police brutality in the United States. These murders, in conjunction with the long histories of anti-Black violence and systemic racism more generally, compel Women’s, Gender, & Queer Studies at Cal Poly to reaffirm our commitments to dismantling settler colonialisms and white supremacy. 

Women’s, Gender, & Queer Studies at Cal Poly promotes scholarly inquiry, education, and activism in the service of transformative, widespread, and lasting social justice, and we call out historical legacies and contemporary manifestations of state-sponsored and state-sanctioned anti-Black violence and murder. As scholar-activists engaged in questioning and contributing to knowledge creation, community formation, creative practice, and policymaking from interdisciplinary and intersectional perspectives, we stand against the destructive, malignant, and dehumanizing forces and effects of settler colonialisms and white supremacy. Collectively and individually, we hold ourselves accountable by continuing to disrupt systems of privilege and oppression, with a particular focus on rejecting anti-Blackness in all its forms. We stand in solidarity with Black lives. 

In addition, we echo the words of the National Women’s Studies Association’s Letter on Charlottesville from August 2018: “White supremacy and fascism have always been intricately connected with misogyny, patriarchy, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, anti-Semitism, and settler-colonial logics. [. . .] The NWSA believes that ending white supremacy is a primary feminist political objective. [. . .] We know that white supremacists seek to instill fear and leverage power using harassment, violence, and the threat of violence. We encourage NWSA members to join together and raise their voices in the wake of these threats even as we recognize that some of our members face greater risk than others in speaking out. We know that intersectional feminist analyses offer the frameworks our campuses and communities need to challenge white supremacist ideologies.” 

WGQS at Cal Poly also acknowledges the groundbreaking and integral work of Black feminisms in WGQS as a discipline, and perhaps above all the foundational role that Black feminists—including, but by no means limited to, the Combahee River Collective, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis, bell hooks, Patricia Hill Collins, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Roxane Gay, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor—have played in the development of and continued insistence upon intersectionality as a central tenet of feminist theory and practice and of social justice work in its broadest sense. 

Finally, we stand against all forms of oppression and, now more than ever, we recommit to supporting all actions necessary to create a more just and equitable Cal Poly and world. 

If you would like to receive announcements from the Women’s, Gender, & Queer Studies Community at Cal Poly, please email to join us. 

Women’s, Gender, & Queer Studies at Cal Poly 

Some suggested resources

Linktree created by Cal Poly Ethnic Studies major and WGS and QS minor Leilani Hemmings Pallay 

The Combahee River Collective Statement (1978) 

#SayHerName Campaign (at The African American Policy Forum) (on Twitter) 

Southern Poverty Law Center Statement on George Floyd, Tony McDade, Sean Reed and Breonna Taylor 

A Decade of Watching Black People Die 

The Racist Roots of American Policing: From Slave Patrols to Traffic Stops 

The Case for Reparations 

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice 

NAACP - San Luis Obispo 

RACE Matters San Luis Obispo 

View a PDF of the letter

Related Content