KSU Chapter Statement on Anti-Racist Actions

KSU’s chapter of the United Campus Workers of Georgia joins with millions around the globe in denouncing the recent police murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd as well as the white vigilante murder of Ahmaud Arbery in our own state. We demand action to stop the killing of Black people immediately through these direct means of violence as well as their slow deaths through institutional violence.  As we experience a pandemic, job losses, and climate change, we know that people of color disproportionately suffer the consequences. White supremacy is not new; it has been built into our nation and institutions over the last several centuries through a combination of land and economic theft from Black people, violent bodily attacks, discrimation and neglect of communities. We also condemn the continued violence against those who are protesting against racial injustice. We reaffirm our chapter’s commitment to prioritize racial justice as we work to create a world in which all people are truly safe and secure.

At KSU, the fight for racial justice is not new either. In the face of racist attacks on campus KSUnited, a collective of students, staff, and faculty, has been at the forefront of calling for KSU administration to live up to its promises. We call for immediate attention to the KSUnited demands, which take on added urgency in the current moment.  In particular, KSUnited has called for an anti-racism center that would educate the campus community on the history and legacy of racism and anti-racism strategies.  We join with KSUnited in insisting this demand, which was first made 10 years ago, be met now.

If KSU administrators are truly committed to anti-racism, they must do more than issue statements and also take action to address racism and its violent effects, especially on our own campus. One step that can be taken immediately is ensuring pay equity along racial lines. This is urgent at KSU where, according to 2019 salary data, Black workers make up almost 45% of full-time workers making under $15 per hour but less than 10% of those making over $150,000. These figures do not even include part-time employees, contract labor, and contingent faculty, who face even more severe inequities. Other steps can include increasing financial support to Black students, meeting KSUnited’s demands, and listening directly to Black workers and students about what is needed to create a just university. 

We have previously called on KSU administration to approach its FY21 budget cuts with more imagination and equity. There is no better time to review the KSU Police budget to find ways to reduce spending, stop aggressive policing of students of color, and divert resources to campus health and safety needs. Other universities have taken bold actions in recent days by, for example, reducing ties with local police departments that might serve as models for KSU to follow.

We encourage our members to get involved in anti-racist campaigns on campus but also in our greater community. Whether you are a UCW member or not, email us at ucwga [dot] ksu [at] gmail to get involved! All KSU campus workers are invited to join us! Here are some ways to directly support anti-racist, racial justice organizing:

  • Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund: To support marginalized communities impacted by Covid-19.
  • Atlanta Solidarity Fund: A fund to support people in Atlanta who have been arrested for taking action against social injustice.
  • The People's Response ATL: Founded in March 2020 by members of the BYP100 Mecca Chapter as a rapid response to the emergent pandemic virus known as COVID-19.
  • Movement for Black Lives: A coalition of racial justice organizations working together to set a national agenda on ending racism. Find resources and actions both locally and nationally.
  • KSUnited: An anti-racist collective of students, staff, and faculty, and community members and registered student organization at KSU.
  • Where is the protest in Atlanta?: A twitter feed reposting information on protests in and around Atlanta.