In Solidarity: When Solidarity is not Enough
To the Dartmouth community,
We, the members of Epsilon Kappa Theta, want to openly and clearly condemn the systemic racism and injustice that caused the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery and an unbearable number of other Black folks at the hands of police. We decry the systemic racism and injustices that cause so many needless deaths and other violence. We firmly believe that Black Lives Matter, and that all lives cannot matter so long as we continue to devalue black lives through our inherent biases and colonized perspectives. However, standing in solidarity is not enough.
We want to remind you that these same issues and biases are alive and well on our campus. Racism festers in our classrooms, social spaces, and online platforms. Dartmouth does not exist above or outside of these issues. Recognize that solidarity means nothing if you do not actively work to recognize and defy the racism among your peers and within yourself. Every time a Black student is asked how they “got into this school,” every time a Black student is expected to speak on behalf of their race in the classroom, every time a Black student is told that their lived experience is invalid for any reason, these are direct examples of the subtle anti-black racism that many of us are guilty of perpetuating.
We recognize that as a Greek space on campus, our history is is not divorced from the racial discrimination and biases we aim to combat. The same is true of most Greek spaces. We know that this history cannot be separated from current and ongoing conversations about racism on Dartmouth’s campus and in the world at large. We encourage our fellow Greek-letter organizations to make active efforts to create spaces that are supportive for all Dartmouth students, particularly those who have been historically underrepresented in these spaces. This could look like facilitating ongoing conversations with your whole house about these issues, and not placing sole responsibility on a single inclusivity chair or BIPOC members.
We encourage the Dartmouth community to actively combat racism. This first requires that we recognize the many different ways we are complicit in racism, both in its obvious forms and in less noticeable—but equally damaging—ways. If you are in the position to stand and speak, do so. It is no secret that Dartmouth is a wealthy institution and that many Dartmouth students come from wealthy backgrounds. This acknowledgement should not be one of shame, but should propel you towards action. Continue to donate, continue to sign petitions, continue to protest, even when it’s no longer “trendy” to do so. Because the violent anti-black racism that many of us are only now recognizing and reckoning with is the reality for Black folks every day.
We encourage professors across campus to take the current social climate into account as we enter finals week, and recognize that your students need structural support at this time. Don’t make them ask.
Look out for each other, look out for yourselves. Your mental health and overall well-being is so important. Reach out to your peers to offer tangible support if you can. This is a time to be supportive of those members of our community most impacted by these issues, but not demanding of them. Look to the resources being shared. Be ready to have uncomfortable conversations.
In solidarity and love,
The Members of Epsilon Kappa Theta
Epsilon Kappa Theta is a local sorority at Dartmouth College. We were founded on May 4, 1992 in the name of womanhood, community, and personal and academic excellence. Over the years, EKT has established itself as one of the most diverse and progressive sororities on Dartmouth's campus.
We believe that the bonds of thetahood help our members in their quest for personal growth, and provide a positive environment for the sharing of ideas and the advancement of people. We strive to achieve these goals to enrich ourselves, our members, and our community.