Swearer Center Statement in Response to Systemic Racial Injustice

Community Engagement Cannot Exist Without Anti-Racism at its Core
by Swearer Center Staff
June 3, 2020

The Swearer Center is outraged and heartbroken by the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black people who were killed as a result of anti-Black violence and police brutality. We celebrate them as individuals whose lives were full of richness, love, and complexity. Our thoughts are with their families, friends, and the entire Black community. We call for justice. 

The Swearer Center’s mission is to connect Brown University students, staff, faculty, and community members to build on community strengths and address community challenges. This work cannot be done authentically when members of our community are historically and systemically oppressed, disproportionately impacted by police brutality, consistently harmed by racism and white supremacy, and in constant fear for themselves and their loved ones. Community engagement cannot exist without anti-racism at its core.

We necessarily look inward to reflect upon our own complicated history within the Swearer Center and at Brown University. We are re-committing to do the internal and external work to become an anti-racist organization, dismantling white supremacy, amplifying and centering the voices of people of color, collaborating with other Centers across the University, and supporting the good work that is already happening in Providence and our surrounding communities. We are grateful to members of our community who lead this anti-racism work; we look to follow their example by engaging more fully in this ongoing fight for justice. This commitment cannot exist only within the current moment; we must and we will commit to persistent and ongoing learning and action. 

We know that many are hurting and not okay right now; we hope you reach out to us or to people within your communities as needed for support. We are in this fight for justice together.