Message from the Washington Center
June 5, 2020
The William & Mary Washington Center supports all people fighting against systemic and institutionalized racism in the United States and condemns the unjust and unlawful killings of Black Americans by police.
William & Mary was built by the hands of the enslaved. Our university has been on the wrong side of history with regard to the treatment of African Americans in the U.S. Now, as we look toward our future, we appreciate the strides that William & Mary is taking to acknowledge and learn from that history.
There is so much more work to do. African Americans are still denied equitable protection under the law as witnessed by the storied history of police brutality, excessive use of force, and most egregiously by the illicit murders of Black people in the United States including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd.
As a center based in Washington, D.C., we are very aware of our proximity to places of power and the current center of protest. The city serves as our students’ classroom, where they can learn firsthand both from officials in high seats of power and from common citizens exercising their right to denounce injustice and demand change. We fully support all Americans’ right to protest and are troubled by the extraordinary law enforcement and military presence in D.C.
Moving forward, we commit to addressing these injustices with empathy and humility while acknowledging that we do not have all of the answers. Individually, we commit to continue educating ourselves on how we can serve our communities and impact change. As a center, we pledge to prioritize anti-racist practices in all of our endeavors and elevate Black voices.
To our W&M community — we know that many of you have joined in protests around the world and that many of you plan to do so in the coming days and weeks. Please be safe and thank you for continuing to confront racism and injustice.
Though there is much work to be done, we join you in the fight to eliminate the racism and racist policies that are pervasive in our country.
We stand with you.
The W&M Washington Center