In the aftermath of the brutal murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I am writing on behalf of St John’s College JCR to emphasise our unequivocal opposition to all forms of systemic racism.
This is an issue where silence is an active choice, and it is incumbent on those in positions of power, no matter how large or small that power may be, to speak up and to make the most of the platforms at their disposal.
It would be a mistake to think that this is an issue confined to countries far from our own. It was only seven months ago that our own College was making headlines after an incident regarding the racial profiling of an alumnus. Events such as these must not simply be swept aside to be forgotten about; as institutions and as individuals we must admit our shortcomings and identify where we can do better.
The JCR reiterates its belief that we profit greatly from increasing diversity, and that we should actively strive to challenge racism in all its forms. The JCR believes that we should seek in all our activities to reflect our wish of fostering a welcoming community and that the personal characteristics of an individual should have no impact upon their success or participation at the College. The JCR therefore condemns all acts of discrimination, and stands with black members of the St John’s College community – past, present, and future – in the fight against racism.
Over the past few days our JCR Instagram account has shared a number of resources for those who wish to learn more about these issues. The JCR stands with the Oxford African & Caribbean Society (ACS) and highlights the following funds and petitions that members are encouraged to support: the Petition for Justice for George Floyd, the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund, and the petition to “make white privilege and systemic racism a compulsory part of the British education course”. Links to these petitions and funds can be found on the text version of this statement that will be uploaded to the News section of the JCR website: www.sjc-jcr.com/about/news-current-projects/
Black lives matter, and black lives will continue to matter even after the protests have dwindled.
JCR President, St John’s College, Oxford
The Petition for Justice:
The page to Donate to the Official George Floyd Memorial Fund: