Firstly, we would like to address and apologise for the delay in making this statement. It should have come much sooner. The transition from Board 9 to Board 10 occurred in the midst of the death of George Floyd, and subsequent eruption of awareness around the continued prevalence of global racial injustice. The transition in boards is never seamless or instant, and Board 9 wanted to give us the chance to address the current situation. In addition, this statement was not something we wanted to rush. We wanted to give ourselves enough time to reflect, educate ourselves, and get it right.
CS Ubuntu is saddened and outraged at the murder of George Floyd and the countless others that have died as a result of racial injustice. Even in just the past weeks since the death of George Floyd, there have been multiple more names added to the list, including those of two black – trans women, Riah Milton and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells and just last Friday, Rayshard Brooks. In these distressing times, we feel it is important to speak up about this matter. It is becoming ever more clear that to be silent is to be complicit. It is not enough to simply be not racist, we must be anti-racist. As a study association that focuses on human rights, a foundational belief of our association is that every human being should be treated fairly and justly, with dignity and respect. The deplorable treatment of black people in the US is shameful and distressing. However, it is important to acknowledge that this is not just their problem. Racism and white supremacy are global issues and ones that are not addressed or tackled nearly enough in the Netherlands. The Dutch national holiday ‘Sinterklaas’ is one example: while more and more people are recognising the problems associated with Zwarte Piet, there are still many who do not understand the issues with this tradition in the way it is currently presented. We must all work to change this.
CS Ubuntu has always strived to be an association that champions diversity and inclusion and stands against discrimination of any kind. We recognise now that simply not tolerating any form of racism or discrimination is not enough, we must be actively anti-racist. The world is waking up to the fact that words are not enough, and so are we. Action is clearly needed and has been for a while.
And so, we invite all our members to take action. Educate yourself and others on racism and white supremacy, donate if you are in a position to do so, sign petitions, and keep pushing for a world in which we are all treated equally. We are lucky enough to have access to a wealth of resources online with just the click of a button. We have compiled a resource bank in which we have shared just a few recommendations of resources we have found thought-provoking and useful, we will continue to update this. We invite you to comment on this post with any resources you have found and would like to share. Another thing that is important to acknowledge, before we set out on this journey of learning and action, is that none of us will get this right every time. We may make mistakes, we may say the wrong thing, but the important thing is to keep learning, reflecting, and trying again.
We acknowledge that simply making this statement is not enough. We must follow up with action, and we are working on ideas of how best to do this. As always, we appreciate any feedback or ideas you’d like to share with us.
Kayla, Jen, Phoebe, Niamh, and Annelot
Here is the link to our resource bank: