Every organization has a particular culture. At CSM our culture is one that does not seek fanfare. We are a nose-to-the-grindstone kind of organization. When there is work to be done, we roll up our sleeves and we get to work. Our work, our fight, is to create a campus culture that is antiracist and equity-advancing. Therefore, we are committed to identifying and rooting out problematic institutionalized policies, procedures, and practices—especially those that are predicated on and support anti-Black and other forms of racism. We are committed to this work because Black lives and Indigenous lives and the lives of other Peoples of Color (BIPOC) matter to us. LGBTQ and womxn lives matter to us. Justice impacted lives matter to us. We should have stated this clearly some time ago. Please forgive us. College of San Mateo stands in solidarity with our BIPOC community, condemning all forms of racialized capitalistic violence, injustice and inequity.
We acknowledge that we, as a campus community, are guilty of promulgating racist policies and practices. We also acknowledge that in order to advance equity at CSM, we have to undergo an institutional paradigm shift. We are committed to critically examining our policies and practices, which, unfortunately, have served to maintain the status quo and, thereby, uphold white supremacy and the (white) privilege it confers.
We are working to make our campus antiracist, and we won’t stop. We are fighting to transform our campus culture, and we are relying on our entire campus community to commit to creating (and curating) a more welcoming, more inclusive campus. We recognize we need to do more. Therefore, we want to make our position clear: We vehemently condemn systemic and systematic white supremacy, which was made manifest in the police brutality and White vigilante terrorism that has claimed the lives of Black men and women – including Eric Garner, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Philando Castile, Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, Jonathan Ferrell, and so many more. We support Black lives because it is our moral obligation to recognize that BIPOC have been the object of systemic state-sanctioned oppression and economic, socio-emotional, political, and physical violence. Individual actors murder these people; nevertheless, the system of white supremacy that undergirds this Nation allowed them to commit these murders, by and large, with impunity. Furthermore, we condemn the violence visited upon other people of color whose stories we do not know because it has been convenient for many of us to pretend racial violence is someone else’s problem. No more. We are speaking up with actions and, now, with our words, too, because we know that those without positions of privilege often suffer in silence.
We are embarking on a concerted effort to dismantle our own oppressive college systems; there is much work to be done. This work starts with us redoubling our efforts to eliminate the inequities suffered by our BIPOC students. Until our mission of equity, student success, and social justice is fully realized for our BIPOC and other disproportionately impacted members of our campus community, we have failed. We apologize for our failure and will continue to work to right these wrongs. We won’t quit. Our sleeves are rolled up: we will not stop working until all feel welcomed, affirmed, heard, and most of all safe.
We will be following up with a specific action plan detailing further what we will be implementing and doing to dismantle our institutional white supremacy and become a truly anti-racist campus.
Approved by the CSM Institutional Planning Committee, January 20, 2021.