A Message from Student Body President Obaid Barakzai
Asalaam Alaikum Westminster Friends,
I am writing this letter to express my support and stand in solidarity with you to fight the many systemic inequities that we have been witnessing for so long time, but even more so this year with the presence of COVID-19. Police brutality, racism, classism, xenophobia, sexism, and religious bigotry are some of the global pandemics with deep systemic roots that need to be dismantled and eradicated locally, nationally, and globally.
We, the Westminster community, need to keep striving for a “new normal”, one that is more community-based and inclusive of all populations. I am very saddened by the unacceptably unjust death of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, and Breonna Taylor – among so many others. My thoughts and prayers are with their families and those who have been affected by such heinous incidents. At this tragic time, we need to stand hand-in-hand with our Black brothers and sisters. We need to do more work because staying silent isn’t an option when we need a “new normal” and a system that’s not simply a symbol of white comfort and minority suppression.
Our difference in color is only skin deep; our blood is the same. We need to embrace our global citizenship and along with protesting to be heard and uplifted, we need to demonstrate support for our Black community by taking actions like writing our representatives, amplifying Black voices, supporting Black-owned businesses, donating and volunteering at organizations helping Black communities, and by staying connected. Your Associated Students of Westminster (ASW) is here to represent a unanimous commitment to hearing your voices and concerns. We are here fully committed to serve you and remind you that Westminster College doesn’t tolerate racism or any form of discrimination.
Along with your other student leaders in ASW, I see you. I would love to get to know you and hear more from you as I begin my term this year as your student body president. Please reach out to me at (firstname.lastname@example.org) and lets chat. I also encourage you to reach out to your other student leaders via our website: myasw.org. Additionally, please reach out to other resources on our campus: Diversity and Inclusion Center, the Counseling Center, and the Office for Global Peace and Spirituality. Your safety, as well as your mental, physical, and social well-being, are our top priorities. Also, ASW will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the end of this month to hear from you and to meaningfully connect together. Please stay tuned and look out for more details in the coming weeks.
This is a difficult time for all of us, but especially for our Black friends. I realize resuscitating real change isn’t easy nor has ever been because it requires time, energy, and both an individual and community effort. But it’s all worth it at the end because as a result, we will be more intellectually fearless to stand for our rights and encourage one another into courageous pluralism.
Today, I am standing with you courageously to unapologetically say: all lives can not matter until Black lives Matter! No justice, no peace.
Student Body Presiden