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Student Medical & Counseling Clinic

Black Lives Matter

June 9, 2020

Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty of Central Washington University:

As a staff we are saddened and outraged by the violent deaths of all the Black people who have lost their lives by the hands of law enforcement including George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. In addition, we mourn the lives of Black people taken by individual citizens acting out of hatred for people of color. We recognize that these acts of violence have gone on for over 400 years and that racism is an inherent part of white culture upon which the United States was founded. The state-sanctioned violence and police brutality toward the Black community cannot be ignored for the sake of comfortability of white individuals or just trying to “play it safe” by choosing to be silent. These individuals were parents, siblings, friends and family, community members.  Their lives will not be forgotten!

We also condemn the systemic intolerance and injustice experienced every day by individuals of color such as Christian Cooper and untold others. Acts of racism, stereotyping, and discrimination are perpetrated in thousands of ways – not only in our nation, but in our own community of Ellensburg and at CWU.  These daily acts cause the slow death of Black Americans through lack of access to fundamental rights of dignity and respect, as well as equitable access to education, healthcare, food, jobs, safe shelter, and systems of power.

As employees of CWU, members of the City of Ellensburg, and fellow human beings, we declare:

We support Black Lives Matter. We strongly oppose discrimination, hate, and intolerance.

To our Black students, faculty and staff, we support you. We apologize for the times we have failed you in your time of need, either by creating barriers to even coming through our doors or, once you took the risk to come, by not hearing and supporting you. We are very sorry for the pain we caused you. Please know that you are important, cherished, and needed. We are committed as individuals and as an organization to taking responsibility, making positive change, and taking action on issues of social justice.

Particularly, Student Counseling Services commits to: 

  • Taking responsibility, individually and as an organization, for our participation in upholding white supremacy and discriminatory systems and practices.  
  • Educating ourselves and doing the life-long work of becoming anti-racist as an organization, in our systems, our practices, and ourselves.
  • Actively examining the racist roots of our profession and how they shape our current practices at Student Counseling Services and developing policies and practices based in social justice.
  • Being open to and actively engaging in hard conversations, feedback, and emotions without trying to minimize, dismiss, or police the tone of victims and survivors of discrimination.  
  • Speaking out on social justice issues and advocating for reform consistently and persistently, using our power and position to dismantle discriminatory and racist practices, policies, and systems at our university, in our town, in our state, across our nation, and globally.  We commit to centering and elevating the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and other minoritized communities.  
  • Collaborating with others across CWU and beyond who are committed to social justice work.
  • Developing and publicly posting, each year, a social justice action plan for Student Counseling Services.  

Student Counseling Services desires to be a place of solace and healing for all CWU students. We cannot be this place if we do not collectively acknowledge our privilege and take responsibility for our past and the impact it has on the present.  We commit to creating a future steeped in justice and holding others accountable to do the same.  

The Staff of Student Counseling Services
Central Washington University

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