The Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy demands justice for the murder of our sister,
On March 13, 2020, Breonna was murdered in her own home, while sleeping, by members of the Louisville Metropolitan Police Department. We learned moments ago none of the officers who fired multiple rounds into Breonna's apartment will be indited for her murder.
While we are not surprised, our hearts remain broken. As womxn of color in the academy, we intrinsically understand the complexities of our existence in systems and institutions never designed for us to enter, let alone for us to survive. In addition, we know it is our duty to fight for our freedom. That fight remains on the front lines with our co-conspirators and the strength of our ancestors.
We stand in solidarity with others who seek justice in the fight for Black Lives. From this moment, we re-commit to the long-term work of liberation for our people, which begins with the freedom and the liberty of knowing who we are. We pledge to continue the fight for justice from the stronghold of state violence until all of us are free!
In 2020, the threat to us as womxn and femmes of color-and all oppressed people-is arguably the highest we’ve experienced in our collective lifetime. We are being targeted via legal policies, media outlets, and even systems, institutions and individuals whom are expected to represent, serve, protect, and care for us.
This year’s conference theme, “If They Come in The Morning…”, is taken from the inmate communication between two of the most iconic activists of our time, James Baldwin and Angela Davis. Used as a salutation in a letter penned to Davis while incarcerated, Baldwin eloquently calls us all to collective action:
“…if we know, we must fight for your life as though it were our own
-which it is-and render impassable with our bodies the corridor to the
gas chamber. For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming
for us that night.”
Building on last year’s theme, it has always been the work of the Ellipsis Institute for Womxn of Color in the Academy to intentionally create space for womxn of color students, staff and faculty as we build relationship across lines of difference in a unified pursuit of advocacy efforts for all womxn, in all roles. As we continue to do so, we know that we must:
State that #BlackLivesMatter. We have and will continue to center the experiences of those womxn, femmes and gender non-conforming Black folk in all of our work at the Ellipsis Institute
Realize and acknowledge the deep American past and our supposed place in the reality of the American collective consciousness
Examine institutional, systemic and electoral politics and their effect on intersectional, oppressed communities
Actualize our roles as those on the line for liberation by doing our own work to illuminate our continued role and responsibility…to ourselves, and also to one another
Let us hold fast to the words sent to encourage our dear sweet sister,
For, if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
“Although we are feminists and lesbians, we feel solidarity with progressive black men and do not advocate the fractionalization that white women who are separatists demand.”
The Combahee River Collective