A Statement and Call to Action from the Black Law Students Association

BLSA Executive Board

We as a Black community want to address and express our pain and concern with the continual killings of Black Americans. For centuries, Black men and women have been targeted, criminalized, and murdered. The death of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Amaud Arbery prove this. We realize that this has to end and we as students of The Penn State Dickinson Law Students Association are demanding JUSTICE.

There are two tales in America, one that condemns taking a knee as a form of peaceful protest and another that looks away when a Black man or woman dies at the hends of a police officer. As Black law students we are not only responsible for, but constantly advocating for the protection of Black lives from white supremacists, police officers, and institutional racism.

Two pandemics are plaguing the United States, racism and COVID-19. Not only are Black people disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, putting their health at risk, but they are fighting for their lives in the name of human rights and injustices. Never would we think that there would be a time that Black Americans would have to choose between their physical health and speaking out against the trials and tribulations we face on a daily basis.

We ask Dickinson Law to provide measures and opportunities to acknowledge and discuss the injustices that go on in the U.S. and biases that occur within the law school community. We as an organization are more than happy to facilitate a discussion and plan with administration and any others who would like to be involved.

To our Black peers, we stand with you. To our allies, we acknowledge you. To the ones that have stayed SILENT, we see you. We realize that in these times being content or complacent with the state of our nation and its overt racism, bigotry, and systematic oppression can no longer be tolerated. As stated by Desmond Tutu, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” If you would like to support, there are several ways in which you can do so. This cannot go on any longer because WE MATTER … BLACK LIVES MATTER.