A Letter of Support to Black Students at Yale from Black Alumni

Alumni can sign here

Dear Black Students of Yale,

As members of Yale University’s Black alumni community, we write to express our support and solidarity with you and other students of color at Yale as you raise your voices in protest, and mount a call to action by the Yale administration in order to address the racism that continues to plague the University.

Whether we graduated in 1971 or 2011, we are aware that racism at Yale is etched in the stained glass windows and the names of the residential colleges, and was laid with Elihu Yale’s East India Corporation profits as the first stones were set on Cross Campus. You are often subjected to assumptions regarding your intellectual abilities by peers and professors, vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault and other forms of misogynoir, and racially profiled by campus police officers asking for ID. Every. Single. Time. Racism leaves your voice unacknowledged or silenced when you call out for support. It is both personal and individual as well as structural and institutional.

We know that safe space – though intangible and easily taken for granted – is no small thing. It is everything.

Because you are standing up and speaking your truth, your hard work is paying off. It has captured the attention of the Yale administration and larger community, and the wheels of change have been set in motion.

We are here, and we see you and we hear you. We are listening, and we will come to you to help you in any way that we can to elevate and amplify your voices and ensure that change happens and that it is maintained.

Finally, we want you to know that we are incredibly proud of all of you and how you are continuing to represent Black Yale in the fight for complete and equitable access to the education you are promised.

In Solidarity,
Members of Yale Black Alumni Community

Rana Emerson (CC ’93)
Shari B. Ellis (TC ‘92)

One comment
  1. I signed on & thanks for doing; but would appreciate seeing another petition with stronger, more specific arguments.

    p.s.: I have just completed & posted on my FB page rather detailed response to the “Halloween memos,” including a reiteration of & expansion on the few specific demands I’ve heard articulated. Happy to share with folks beyond my FB friends.

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