Oberlin Shansi Response to Black Lives Matter and Protests
June 2, 2020
To the Shansi Community in the United States and Abroad:
This is a troubling time for all of us at Oberlin Shansi and for all Americans. We struggle with grief and anger for lives taken, with the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, David McAtee, and Ahmaud Arbery forward in our consciousness. As we continue to grapple with the pervasiveness of systemic racism and inequity in our society, we maintain the firm conviction that Black Lives Matter.
Shansi’s work has traditionally been focused on “joining worlds” between Oberlin and communities, institutions, and individuals in Asia. However, this mission has never existed in a vacuum. Meaningful international exchange requires dialogue about critical issues, including institutional racism and systematic inequality. These dialogues are rarely easy but remain critically important in our work.
We have been humbled to hear from our friends and partners in Asia, especially our Visiting Scholar alumni who have called Oberlin home. They are concerned about what they see happening in the United States. We also support our Fellows and alumni who are fighting for justice. Moving forward, we believe in our community and its ability to advocate for systematic change.
An email or Facebook post cannot adequately explain these complex and deep-rooted problems. As individuals and an organization, we will seek areas of action moving forward and are committed to expanding and deepening our engagement with Black and Latinx colleagues on campus and in the Oberlin community. Over the coming months, we will be learning and listening as we consult and brainstorm with our Fellows, our colleagues at Oberlin College, our partners abroad, and many others. We are committed to being part of much needed change.