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Remember... it is okay to not be okay.

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Stanford Against Hate

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Through the COVID-19 pandemic, more attention and awareness has grown around long standing issues of oppression and injustice. 

From police brutality and murder of Black Americans, to the increase of anti-Asian hate crimes, to the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on low-income Americans and those with chronic health concerns, inequity and injustice are evident across multiple dimensions of U.S. systems. From increased hatred and xenophobia towards immigrants of color, to erasure and dismissal of Native communities, to increasingly oppressive legislature targeting the LGBTQ+ community, to the rise of antisemitism and ongoing Islamophobia, it is clear that this injustice is not just spurred by COVID, but deeply rooted within U.S. culture and its institutions.

Aerial view of Stanford includes: Stadium, Maples Pavilion, baseball diamonds, Arillaga Center. Tennis center, Hoover Tower, Oval on right), track field, Avery Aquatics Center. Credit: Linda A. Cicero / Stanford News Service

Stanford's Vision

Part of Stanford’s vision includes “integrating an understanding of attitudes, values, behaviors, cultures, histories, and our capacity for cooperation. It fervently underscores the need to provide strong support for the people in our community, and to advance our mission with integrity and values.” As such, Stanford commits to supporting its many communities within this constant onslaught of hate and harm. As a step toward ensuring this support, this page of materials and suggestions has been created with the intention to help you feel resourced, empowered, and heard. While this is not an exhaustive list, we will be continually updating it with vetted resources and welcome suggestions and feedback.

Though created in response to the current global waves of prejudice, this site will not only act as a solemn reminder of the ways oppression has been embedded within the United States and its systems, but a call to our community members and university systems to continue to fight against oppression and to work towards an inclusive Stanford for all.

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“Eliminating racial injustice on our campus, and helping eradicate it in our society, will require a rigorous, comprehensive and sustained effort. It will take the commitment of Stanford as an institution, starting with myself, the provost and our senior leadership, including all vice presidents, vice provosts and deans. But it will also require the dedication of every member of our community.”

- President Marc Tessier-Lavigne

Helpful Information

  • Social Justice
    • Social justice basically means addressing and dismantling the socially-constructed and systems-perpetuated barriers that keep different communities from mental, physical, emotional, social, and financial health. If we begin to acknowledge these barriers and their impacts, we can deconstruct them and hopefully increase the well-being and success of all our communities.

  • Liberation
    • This idea of dismantling barriers, not just making changes around or to them, is sometimes called justice or liberation work- freedom from systems, beliefs, and behaviors that keep people from their whole selves, full potential, pursuit of happiness. As this illustration shows, if we take away the barriers for those who are most impacted, we all have access to participate and engage in our world.

    • Equality vs. Equity vs. Justice Graphic Created by Jordan Vega Llorin
  • Intersectionality
    •  In order to get to liberation, however, we must start by acknowledging the different barriers at play. A lot of the time, these barriers come in “isms” and “phobias” (e.g. racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia) because they keep certain communities in power and certain communities out. From Kimberle Crenshaw’s term of intersectionality from Black feminist theory, we learn that in order to talk about these barriers, we have to also recognize that these barriers (like a birdcage) intersect and overlap, creating specific experiences of oppression for folks depending upon their identities and experiences. 

  • White Supremacy
  • Ally/Accomplice/Co-conspirator
    • Here is a roadmap on how we can be upstanders to dismantle White supremacy and other oppressive forces. 

      1. First, we begin as an active ally, making some changes personally or within our circles like posting a hashtag, sharing our pronouns, reading anti-racist books, or amplifying others’ stories and voices. While these are important actions, they do little to change overarching systems. 
      2. Once we realize that oppressive forces cannot be fought by individuals alone or fought without continual work, we begin to move towards being an accomplice. By continually working to fight systems like challenging stereotypes and jokes, decentering privileged experiences, advocating for training and organizational change, we begin to carry the weight of working towards liberation.
      3. When we begin to be vigilant in our social justice efforts, holding ourselves accountable, and take risks to reallocate funds and attention, these actions have become a lifestyle. A co-conspirator is willing to take personal risks to dismantle and re-envision a world of liberation.
    • Pyramid of Accountability

    • Graphic by Britt Hawthorne from https://www.instagram.com/p/CJwnDGBMSxO/

    • Here’s what you can do in your upstander journey.

  • Why should I care?
    • This matters, first and foremost, because absolutely everyone deserves the chance to explore their potential and thrive. None of us had any say in the types of situations, systems, and communities we were born into. These things should not keep us from being our true, whole selves in pursuit of what brings us joy, connection, and security. 

      Second, while we may all face different barriers, the limitation of these barriers limits creativity and contribution for all of us. If the barriers were broken down, think of all the unlocked potential available to humanity, the problems we would solve, and the world we could create.

      Third, while these barriers and forces affect people and communities differently, they still affect everyone. Racism keeps people disconnected from each other and their own capacity to thrive and create. Sexism, homophobia, and transphobia restrict authenticity and expression for every person. By tearing down barriers, all of us are liberated.