Fire Truck House Letter to the Community
[content warning: anti-black violence, murder]
To Black people at Stanford (including those involved in writing this letter) –
We know that as painful, infuriating, and exhausting as this moment is, none of this is new. We know that anti-Black violence has persisted for centuries, and that institutions like our University uphold and perpetuate the systemic racism that we have been battling our entire lives.
We are experiencing an uprising in real time. Our ancestors have been here before. Many generations before us have been organizing at the forefront for Black Liberation. Many of them, Black women, Black trans and queer people, and Black disabled people, were organizing while holding multiple identities that compounded the violence enacted upon them. They faced off with police and other violent institutions, refusing to be silenced and ignored. They faced off with their oppressors for the liberation of ALL Black people. We are continuing their legacy, propelling a movement that has spread across the globe.
We (QSR & WCC professional staff) support your journey in this moment. The journey looks different for every Black person; whether it’s unplugging from the news to prioritize your own mental health; celebrating Black love and joy with your friends and family; organizing with your local community; centering your work on Black queer, trans and disabled people whose names and stories often go under the radar; creating art; taking the time and space to mourn the loss of life; connecting others to resources; the list is endless. No matter what you decide to do, we support you in your fight for Black Liberation. We will make it through this, too.
To white and non-Black people of color at Stanford (including the white and non- black POC involved in writing this letter) –
You know this isn’t new. You’ve seen anti-Black racism perpetuated by your friends, your family, your communities, and this institution. You have perpetuated anti-Black racism yourself. You know that anti-Black violence has persisted for centuries, and that police and institutions like our University uphold and perpetuate systemic racism that harms Black people in so many ways. You know we need to do better because Black life is at stake. You are witnessing an uprising in real time. It is up to you to follow the lead of Black people and use your privilege and resources to support the movement for Black Liberation.
There are many ways you can show up to support Black people, whether that’s creating a protective barrier from police for Black people on the front lines or other necessary efforts. Remember that all Black life is under threat and has been for a long time. Nina Pop, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd are but four of many Black people whose lives have been stolen. It is your job to learn the names and stories of Black people who were victims of anti-Black violence, including Black trans and cis women, Black trans men, Black Trans and queer people, and Black disabled people. No matter where or when instances of anti-Black violence occur, you will find the same underlying thread that weaves them all together: “[name here] was killed for being Black.”
You cannot stop at learning the names and stories of Black people who were taken from us. You are also tasked with listening, learning, doing your own research on what is needed in your local community, and acting accordingly. No matter what you decide to do, you must refuse the status quo. You must refuse complacency. You must support the fight for Black Liberation.
To everyone –
Our colleagues at the BCSC, The Markaz, and El Centro have compiled resources that we have shared below. We added a few additional resources because the list is constantly evolving. Your community may have resources specifically for Black people in your area, so make sure to keep an eye out for those as well. Please engage how and where makes sense for you. Remember that we all have a part to play in this movement and that we are stronger together.
With care, rage, and support,
Fire Truck House Professional Staff
Alicia Lewis (WCC) Ben Davidson (QSR) Danny Alvarez (QSR) Dejah Carter (WCC) Faith Kazmi (WCC) Taylor Hodges (QSR)
On Campus Support Resources
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offer crisis counseling for urgent needs. Clinicians are always on call, even after hours, at (650) 723-3785
- Well-Being @ Stanford Coaching
- The Office for Religious Life offers spiritual guidance for students at (650) 723-
o Zoom Office Hours with Dr. Rania Awaad. Sign up here
- The Graduate Life Office is available during office hours at (650) 736-7078, or 24/7 at (650) 723-8222, pager ID number 25085
Ways to Take Action
In times like these, it’s easy to feel helpless and unsure how to proceed. If you have the capacity, here is a list of ways to take action and make your voices heard.
Demand the sentencing of the four police officers involved in George Floyd’s murder.
o DA Mike Freeman: (612) 348-5550
o Hennepin County Attorney Office: (612) 673-2100
Join a phone bank organized by Stanford Students for Workers' Rights
Sign this petition organized by color of change demanding the prosecution of
the officers involved in the murder of George Floyd, Donate to:
- Minnesota Freedom Fund (bail out for
- Black Visions Collective (QT & Black led organizing
- Reclaim The Block (Police divestment org in
- North Star Health Collective (on the ground medical supplies and personnel) https://www.northstarhealthcollective.org/donate
- George Floyd Memorial Fund
- I Run with Maud Fund
- Homeless Black Trans Women Fund
- Black Trans Travel Fund (funds for Black Trans Women in need of safe
- The Nina Pop Mental Health Recovery Fund (mental health resources for Black trans people)
- The Tony McDade Mental Health Recovery Fund (mental health resources for Black trans people)
- LGBTQ+ Freedom Fund (posts bail for LGBTQ people held in jail or immigrant detention and raises awareness of the epidemic of LGBTQ
- Trans cultural district (the world's first-ever legally recognized trans district, which aims to stabilize and economically empower the trans
- Black AIDS Institute (working to end the Black HIV epidemic through policy advocacy and high-quality direct HIV services) http://blackaids.org
- SNaPCo (builds power of Black trans and queer people to force systemic divestment from the prison industrial complex and invest in community support) https://snap4freedom.org
Support Local Demands
- Sign Reclaim the Block’s petition urging MN city council to defund the
- 26 Ways to be in the Struggle Beyond the
**Thank you to El Centro Chicano y Latino, Markaz, and additional campus partners for assisting with curating this ongoing list of resources.***