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The Point: Monday Mourning, Monday Solidarity


Greetings, Colleagues.

At this moment, we must first acknowledge and bear witness.  We grieve the loss of George Floyd, we are enraged by the continuous damage wrought by systemic racism, and we stand in solidarity with all who have been putting their bodies on the line in the past few days in the ongoing fight for justice.

Standing in solidarity means more than just making a statement, and we call on our members to participate in resistance in whatever ways we can.  As the President of Cal-State Fullerton implored his community, we implore you: “To not just wring our hands, but ring the alarm. To not just stand by, but stand up. To not just talk about the issue, but know when to shut up and listen to those whose lives are upended by it. To not just whisper in shaded corners, but shout out from whatever platform we have been given.”

Some things we particularly want to shout out about:

Union Solidarity

Many of our union colleagues across the country have become “frontline” workers in confronting the critical dual crises we are facing (COVID-19 and the systemic police violence afflicting Black people) in our moment.  We must remain steadfast in our support of these committed union workers and their efforts to fight racism and police violence, from the nurses treating patients around the country while resisting racial inequity, to the brave union-supported bus drivers in Minneapolis and New York who refused to transport arrested protesters this weekend.  Union members around the country are finding ways to support the movement.

Funding for Public Higher Education in the Age of Mass Incarceration

We must redouble our efforts to resist defunding of public higher education across the country and most especially in the Commonwealth. Education is an effective means to fight racism.  And public education addresses central issues of equity in access.  But Massachusetts is one of many states that spend more public funds on prison than it does on higher education. This is not an immutable fact of life, but a consistently renewed decision made by our legislators. We must fight against, and work to reverse this trend.

Our Own Backyard

There is so much to be done, at UMB and in our surrounding communities. We are a Minority Serving Institution and have recently been described as the third most diverse campus in the United States. We engage with students and communities hardest hit by racialized violence and the racialized damage of the COVID-19 pandemic. And we do amazing work to resist oppression with our students and surrounding communities.  But racial inequity persists, even on our own campus. Our present racialized landscape on campus remains fraught, to say the least: last year’s UMB Faculty of Color report and the 2017 PROGRESS report makes it plain that we have much work to do, right here on the Point. We need to remember our history and urban mission and commit to education that activates us all to fight systemic forms of oppression. 

This is your union: how do you think we should be engaging as a union in the complex racial challenges of our moment? Let us know at

An Antiracist Reading List,” Ibram X. Kendi:

From the FSU Executive Committee

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