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Black Lives Matter

Student Government Association
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
May 30, 2020

A statement regarding the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and all others affected by racial inequalities.

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Student Government Association formally condemns the unjust murders, systemic racism, and police brutality that continues to plague our nation. We send our deepest condolences to the families who were traumatized and afflicted by these violations against basic human rights.

As an SGA family and as representatives of the greater student body, we are in a state of grief. For ourselves, and for many of our fellow students, this is the harsh reality of the Black experience.

Our hallowed hill was built by the hands of people who were enslaved. We are no strangers to the effects of the system built to threaten the lives and well-being of Black people in America.

We acknowledge the fear that our Black community is facing and the false narratives that shape the national rhetoric, deeming African Americans as “thugs” and “criminals”. We are here to tell you, categorically and with finality: the truth matters and you belong on this campus.

We are committed to consistency, transparency, and addressing the aforementioned issues every day of our tenure, not just while the national spotlight is on them.

We will introduce the first phase of Volunteer Voices, a discussion and feedback opportunity for students, in the upcoming weeks. This series of student-led discussions and anonymous online surveys will give us an accurate portrayal of student needs as we continue to serve the student body.

We are calling upon all Volunteers to do your part: call your legislators, donate to nonprofits committed to social justice, uplift the Black people around you, and most importantly educate yourself.

If you would like to contact us with questions or concerns, please reach out to the SGA leadership.

With justice and peace,

The UTK Student Government Association Executive Cabinet