To

President Claire E. Sterk,

Office of the President

President-Elect Greg Fenves,

Office of the President-Elect

Interim Provost Jan Love,

Office of the Provost

Vice President and Dean of Campus Life Enku Gelaye,

Office of the Vice President

And to the Emory Student Body

A number of statements have been circulated within the Emory Community on the subject of routineized and systematized black death, solidarity, allyship, and mobilization since the egregious murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Though the sentiments of these expressions are laudable and heartfelt, these immaterial affirmations of allyship and “empathy” are insufficient to the task of addressing material anti-blackness. There is no remedy to the historical experience of racial trauma. There is no redress to the malignancy of a “past, not yet past, but present.”[1] There is only the sounds of our wails– our bellows of mourning and grief. Make no mistake, however. There is power in our cries. Our slave-mothers and slave-fathers bellowed our people into modernity, and so shall we bellow ourselves into the future. That future can only be realized, however, by willing ears… 

To the hundreds of Black students at Emory University, this Coalition represents the continued and renewed commitment to amplifying your cries. This Coalition recognizes the value and validity of distinctively Black ways to mourn and ask that you continue to meaningfully direct the powerful energies of your disaffection through the multiple and varied forms of your activism. More importantly, we ask that you seize whatever moments of peace, rest, and comfort you are able to during these trying times. Tend to yourself, tend to your revolution.

As this Coalition mourns with the hundreds of families who have lost loved ones to gratuitous police violence, we think it necessary that the University scrupulously assess the multiple ways in which it is itself culpable for the persistence of anti-blackness. Following the “Letter to the Emory Administration,”[2] issued to the University in late May detailing the concerns of the broader Emory Community, demanding accountability from the Emory Administration, President Sterk regaled us with her hopes of an operational campus this fall and President-Elect Fenves’s statement of solidarity amounted more closely to a condemnation of particular resistance strategies. These statements, issued by the highest ranking members of the Emory Administration, are indistinct and indeterminate on the issue of Black livability and survivability in the contemporary moment and are very clearly strategies of corporate placation. The immediacy of this national crisis demands the University’s decisive assurance that its Black student population is, and will remain, a high priority. The following are the several demands of the Black student population endorsed by the enumerated signatories.

  1. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and issue a public apology for the University’s history of racist violence, particularly towards its Black student population.

  2. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and undedicate residential spaces and other University properties to Confederate slave holders, acknowledging their notorious and well-documented histories of deriving wealth from the enslavement, abuse,  forced labour, and general subjugation of African American peoples.

  3. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and, with the findings from the NAACP’s Assessment Survey on the Utility of Emory Police Department and Atlanta Police Department[3], reassess the ways in which EPD and APD affect Emory’s learning and residential environments and immediately take actions to 1) disarm Emory Police, and 2) defund the Emory Police Department, reallocating subsidized funding to better equipped crises-prepared professionals.

  4. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and, with the findings from the NAACP’s Assessment Survey on the Experience of Racial Violence in the Classroom[4], immediately take action to reassess its policies on Open Expression to better prosecute student experiences of  rhetorical discrimination by the University’s faculty.

  5. Following from the aforementioned, we demand that Emory University be a willing ear and provide frequent diversity and sensitivity training to better verse faculty in the nuances of issues of identity (including, but not limited to issues of race, gender, sexuality, religion, socioeconomic status, etc.).

  6. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and establish a suretyship with this Coalition to guarantee the protection and preservation of designated Black spaces where Emory Students could be educated on the histories and contributions of Emory’s, and more broadly, America’s black constituency.

  7. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and acknowledge AND resolve all the demands of Black students issued in the:

  • Black Student Alliance’s Demands of 1969[5]

  • Students Against Racial Inequality’s Demands of 1990[6]

  • Black Students of Emory’s Demands of 2015[7]

  • Black Lives Matter Letter of Actionable Items of 2020[8]

We ask that the applicable demanded provisions of this list of actionable items be extended to the entire Emory University System in consultation with representatives from this Coalition.

  1. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and regularly meet with the leaders of Black organizations at the University to 1) hold the University accountable for a high degree of transparency as it relates to the demands of the Black student population and 2) ensure these and future demands are attentively acknowledged, resolved, and enforced.

  2. We demand that Emory University be a willing ear and respond to each of the enumerated demands in writing within 48 hours. A sufficient response will include a statement of advocacy from the University and a detailed plan of action supplemented by a time frame, subject to the approval of this Coalition.

Yours in Resistance,

Emory University NAACP Collegiate Chapter,

in Authorship

Organizations/Clubs

Emory’s Black Student Alliance

Emory’s Black Pre-Law Society

Emory’s Black & Latinx in STEM

The Alpha Tau Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

The Gamma Beta Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Emory’s Black Men’s Initiative

Emory’s Ngambika

Caucus of Emory Black Alumni

Emory’s Black is Gold

Emory’s BLACKSTAR* MAGAZINE

Emory’s African Student Association

Emory’s Brotherhood of Afrocentric Men

BlackOUT Queer Discussion Group

Goizueta’s Black Student Association

Emory’s BLOOM*

Emory’s Melanin Essence

The Mu Alpha Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Individual Signatories

Ronald Poole II, 23C

Zakiya Collier, 21C

Marie Roc, 23C

Myles Dunn, 23C

Destini Renard, 23C

Aaron Campbell, 21C

Anne Marie Odney, 23C

Solana Rivera, 23C

Beyonce Brice, 23C

Jalyn Radziminski, 18C

Jamaiica Hurston, 22C

Koluchi Odiegwu, 23C

Rejoice M. Jones, 11C

Samaia Hill, 23C

Ivy Kilpatrick, 17C

Krysten Nedd, 22N

Helena Zeleke, 23C

India Stevenson, 22C

Charlese Blair, 22C

Peter Nicholas Cooke, 23C

Sarah Naseer, 19Ox 21C

Samantha M. Ketant, 06C

Isbah Kapadia, 19Ox 21C

Selma Sheikh-Khalil, 19Ox 21C

Ja’Mya Yancey, 23C

Rejoice M. Jones, 11C

Faith Muyoyo, 21C

Kira Tucker, 20C

Ernst Jourdain, 22B

Muna Nour, 22C

Timothy Richmond, 20C

Leelt Ermias, 22C

Heather-Destiny Konan, 22C

Ashley Morel, 23C

Vanessa Sogan, 24C

Amon Pierson, 22C

Vanessa Ishimwe, 20C

Layhana Mopono, 24C

Ankita Moss, 20C

Christina Hardaway, 09C

Coumba Diao, 22B

Taylor Jones, 23C

Destiny Augustine, 22N

Edmund Acquaah Jr., 23C

Emily Gardin, 21C

Chloe Camp, 21N

Ayana Dickens, 20C

Lindsey Burton-Anderson, 21C

Amala Ozumba, 22C

Mekurab Samuel, 22C

Merveille Oluoch, 22C

Laila Nashid, 23C

Daniel Gebrekidan, 22C

Ja’Kyla Kellem, 22C

Leila Ransome, 22C

Lauren Jones, 21C

Morissa Wisdom, 22C

DeJuan Charles, 22C

Desiree Chea, 22N

A’Janae Williams, 20C

Jalista X., 22C

Iris Li, 22C

Kedhejah Kelley, 22C

Touré Jones, 21C

Preye A. Jituboh, 21C

Oliver Niyibizi, 21C

Teffin Benedict, 21C

Zoe Price, 22C

Julius Pugh, 24C

Amari Sutton, 20C

Alexis Young, 22C

Zion Billey, 24C

Lois Teye-Botchway, 23C

Dominique Jones, 24C

Marcia Petis, 23C

Jocelyn Stanfield, 20C

Leslie Owusu, 22C

Jery Villaman, 23C

Dynasti DeGouville, 22C

Alisia Moore, 21C

Nina Thompson, 21C

Christopher Lawrence, 23C

Matthew White, 22C

Natalia Thomas, 23C

Channelle Russell, 22C

Zariah Jenkins, 21C

Jonna Austin, 23C

Dayan Dorestin, 22Ox 24C

Fatima Elfakahany, 18Ox 20C

Destiny Riddick, 23C

Tai Harriott, 23C

Tiera Ndlovu, 19Ox 21C

Reina Ambrocio, 22C

Drew Wood-Palmer, 21R

Vivian Muhumuza, 21Ox 23C

Kyra Mitchell, 22C

Sierra Stephens, 22N

Kaitlin Mottley, 23C

Lonzie Portis, 23C

Maya Wright, 23C

Hayat Geresu, 21C

Niara E. Foster, 22C

Alvaro Perez Daisson, 23C

Julia Francois, 23C

Michelle Mugo, 18Ox 20C

Danielle McKee, 21C

Camille McClain, 23C

Christina Chance, 22C

Adrianna English, 23C

Julian Portis-Escoto, 23C

Mekhi George, 21B

Joy Knowles, 22C

Iman Ali, 19Ox 21C

Malcolm Phillips, 23C

Latreese Lovence, 21C

Layan Ibrahim, 21C

Cameron D. Warren, 20C

Lucinda Jeune, 23C

Ryan Diedonne, 23C

Kyle Chan-Shue, 23C

Hawa Larissa Jagana, 21C

Shantinque Bailey, 23C

Mikaelle Pierre-Paul, 23C

Julio Ceballos, 23B

John Walker-Turner, 20C

Obinna Megwa, 22C

Leo Lee, 23C

Jerusalem Tsige, 23C

Jordyn Elyse Turner, 22B

Anya Solomon, 21C

Abel Girma, 21C

Kayla Williams, 22C

Delon Canterbury, 09C

Andrea Catchings, 99Ox 01C

Joyce Korir, 23B

Robel Betre, 21C

James Kendrick Cooper, 22B

Abdullah Muzeyen, 21C

Evan Amaral, 21C

Marvin Richards, 19Ox 21C

Phoebe Han, 20C

Julianna Heller, 21C

Chris James, 21C