Black Lives Matter in CS106B


“Liberating education consists in acts of cognition, not transferrals of information.” Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

Statement of Solidarity

We want to acknowledge the fact that we are learning together in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement. The national and global circumstances can – and in fact should – have an effect on our time together. The field of technology has actively contributed to systemic racism in the U.S., and especially those of us in education must work toward creating equitable opportunities and anti-racist practices in computer science. We want you to know that we are committed to fighting against racial injustice together.

We also want to acknowledge the disproportionate impact and burden that is being felt by our Black students and students of color in this moment, which brings extreme uncertainty about their freedom, their safety, and their lives. In addition, we are facing a global pandemic that has only further amplified the stress and uncertainty that communities and individuals are encountering. We want to emphasize that everyone should take the time this quarter to keep a pulse on your own mental health and well-being. We hope that you will always prioritize this above academics, and we will work with you to adapt accommodations to your personal situation as challenges arise.

In CS106B this quarter, we want to build a community of learners where everyone feels welcome and empowered through computer science. We want to create an an actively anti-racist curriculum and learning environment, and we encourage you to reach out to us with any feedback or suggestions any time during the quarter.

Resources

First and foremost, the Stanford community has created a website with resources for education, care, and support surrounding the Black Lives Matter Movement. You can find it here: https://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/blacklivesmatter

A Coalition of Black Student Organizations at Stanford has also put together a letter to the University administration on policing at Stanford and a letter to peers on non-carceral alternatives. We invite you to read both letters, which are linked toward the bottom of this form.

Mental health and well-being

While we are here to support you, we are not the only resources that are available to you this quarter. Although the majority of you will not be on campus this quarter, many of the traditional on-campus offices and departments that exist to support students have transitioned to a virtual format for this upcoming quarter. Here is a (non-exhaustive) list of some of the resources that we want you all to be aware of this quarter:

We hope that you will take the time this quarter to keep a pulse on your own mental health and well-being and utilize the above resources as necessary to build strength and resiliency in these uncertain times.

Resources courtesy of “Statement of Solidarity from Black ASSU Leadership”

Educational resources for anti-racism:

  • List of bail funds by city: Bail funds are a way to support frontline protesters who are being arrested - as well as building towards a movement to end cash bail and free hundreds of thousands of people who are in pre-trial detention during a pandemic.
  • NorthStar Health Collective: NorthStar is a Minnesota-based street medic collective, offering first aid and medical support to people on the frontlines right now.
  • Reclaim the Block: Reclaim the Block is a Minneapolis community org providing supplies and support to protesters, as well as pushing Minneapolis to spend less on policing and more on healthcare, housing and education.
  • The Black Visions Collective and Legal Fund: Black Visions Collective, a Black, trans and queer-led organization, is helping lead the protests and advocating to defund the police in Minnesota.
  • Rebuild Lake Street: Lake Street Council is donating 100% of these proceeds to the local business and nonprofits affected by the fires and helping them continue to serve their communities.

A few of the organizations listed above are now requesting funds be redirected to different organizations. You can find more extensive lists on their websites.

We hope that all of you will be able to take this opportunity to center the importance of this critical moment in history and work to take concrete action towards a more equitable future for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.