Statement from the School of Communication's Anti-Racism, Social Justice and Coalition-building Committee Regarding the May 14 Event in Buffalo, NY
On May 14, 2022, ten people were murdered, and three were injured in a mass shooting at a grocery store located in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. Eleven of the thirteen victims are Black people and two were white.
In response to the Black Lives Matter uprisings in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, The School of Communication released an accountability statement. In this statement, we began by first and foremost affirming that Black lives matter. Following the tragic events in Buffalo, we echo and underscore the importance of this sentiment. It is important to reiterate this sentiment by calling out white supremacist terrorism. The time for ambiguous, obtuse, and empty statements has long passed. In saying this we also realize that those kinds of statements should have never been afforded space to start. The School condemns antiblack racism and white supremacist terrorism in all its forms. It has no place in our society, even though we acknowledge that it is the foundation upon which this society was built: FBI reporting up to 2020 shows the largest wave of hate crimes in twelve years in 2020. Yet, these numbers do not adequately speak to the ritualistic nature of violence against Black people living in the U.S. that has taken place for centuries. We mourn with the families affected and continue to commit ourselves to fight against antiblack racism, bigotry, and violence in our School, University, and community.
We value the unique contributions of all our community members regardless of race, gender, sexuality, class, age, ability, nationality, and immigration status. In saying this, it is important to acknowledge the material realities Black people continue to face in this country as well as abroad. To our Black students, faculty, and staff, we see you, and we value all you contribute that makes our campus community possible. For those in our School who are feeling especially vulnerable right now, please know that the anti-racism, social justice, and coalition-building committee is here for you – you can reach out to us to talk – we are happy to chat. If you’d prefer to speak to a counselor, we recommend contacting Health Services at https://healthservices.illinoisstate.edu/ or the Multicultural Center at https://multiculturalcenter.illinoisstate.edu/, which also offers counseling and resources.
Below are the names of the Buffalo victims. Please join us in remembering and celebrating their lives.
- Roberta A. Drury of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 32
- Margus D. Morrison of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 52
- Andre Mackneil of Auburn, N.Y. – age 53
- Aaron Salter of Lockport, N.Y. – age 55
- Geraldine Talley of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 62
- Celestine Chaney of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 65
- Heyward Patterson of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 67
- Katherine Massey of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 72
- Pearl Young of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 77
- Ruth Whitfield of Buffalo, N.Y. – age 86
Update on the School of Communication’s Anti-Racism, Social Justice and Coalition-building Committee
We have revamped our Diversity and InclusionCommittee, now named the Anti-racism, Social Justice, and Coalition-building Committee, so that the School of Communication’s commitments and policies better reflect the future of American democracy. Over the next few months, the Committee will be releasing vital communication to remain transparent with our communities. We ask for your support in advance and look forward to possible future collaborations.
Mission Statement: The mission of the Anti-racism, Social Justice, and Coalition-building Committee is to actively guide the School of Communication at Illinois State University in continuously identifying, developing strategies, and implementing structural policies and specific actions to combat systemic inequities embedded within our department, institution, and local communities. Through collaborative efforts with alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members, the Committee will collectively develop actionable steps for the work needed to transform our intellectual community, workplace culture, and cultural consciousness.
Statement of Accountability
Please click here to download and read our statement of accountability.
A website dedicated to the work of this committee is available here. Updates from this committee may also be posted to the School of Communication social media channels.