Sonya Stephens

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Mount Holyoke’s commitment to conversation, comradeship, and change.

By Sonya Stephens on July 11, 2016 at 11:33 AM

Dear Members of the Mount Holyoke Community,

This summer has brought so much tragedy to society and our screens that, as we find ourselves grieving one event, trying to make sense of the act and the loss, we are swept into another.  Some happen at a distance, while others happen here on US soil. Some are classified as acts of terrorism, and the others are, at root, also about fear. All strike close to home in a community such as ours at Mount Holyoke College, comprised of many races and ethnicities, religions, nationalities, gender identities, and political affiliations.

The senseless murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in recent days—within a day of each other and less than two years after that of Michael Brown—reminded us, if we needed reminding, that this happens every day and everywhere in the United States, and of the urgency with which we all must act to protect black lives and to address the structural racism that allows such violence. It reminded us, as does the journalist Gary Younge, that “justice is indivisible,” and that anything less than justice for all is privilege for some.

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