In recent days, society has seen a surge of activism across the United States in support of social justice, particularly in response to enduring racist and sexist inequities on university campuses.
At Yale University and beyond, many of these student-led movements are not only about addressing the latest instances of injustice but also about redressing the much deeper violence of racism, sexism, classism, and settler colonialism upon which the United States and its institutions of higher education are founded.
We, the undersigned members of Yale’s Indigenous Graduate Network (IGN) & Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), publicly affirm our solidarity and support for these social justice activism efforts. Our solidarity and support extends not merely to the cause itself but also to the wellness of the students leading these charges.
At Yale, we stand with the undergraduate students—especially women of color—who themselves stand at the helm of these movements, investing their time, energy, and intelligence into an institution that has yet to make good on its promises of substantive inclusion. We demand the university hear these students’ voices and do more to support the structural transformations for which they advocate, including but not limited to: strengthened recruitment and retention policies for students, faculty, staff, and administrators of color across the university; improved mental health resources, especially the recruitment of mental health professionals of color; and increased investment in Ethnic Studies and Indigenous Studies through the creation of multiple full-time tenure track faculty positions.
To the Yale undergraduate community: we are deeply appreciative of you and your leadership in the vitally important task of rebuilding Yale as a just and welcoming place for all students, particularly for women of color, including ourselves. Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can turn this expression of solidarity into concrete action in support of your work.
With admiration and affirmation,
Pablo N. Barrera, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Art History (Wirraritari)
Greg Buzzard, Yale Law School ’18 (Cherokee Nation)
Helen Diagama, Yale Law School ’17
Lynsey Gaudioso, Yale Law School ’17 and Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies ’17 (Cherokee descent)
Holly Guise, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, History (Iñupiaq)
Tiffany Hale, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, History (African American/Cherokee descent)
Katie Jones, Yale Law School ’16 (Cherokee Nation)
Caroline Muraida, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies ’17 (Pueblo descent)
Shannon Prince, Yale Law School ’17 and Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, African & African American Studies (Cherokee/African American/Chinese/English)
Leigh M.O Kern, Yale Divinity School ’16 and Berkeley Divinity School ’16 (Métis descent)
Tyler Rogers, Yale Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, American Studies (Narragansett descent)
Sarah Sax, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies ’17 (Métis)
Seguin Strohmeier, Yale Law School ’16
Allison Tjemsland, Berkeley College ’11 and Yale Law School ’17 (Jamestown S’Klallam)
Natahnee Winder, Henry Roe Cloud Fellow, 2015-16 (Duckwater Shoshone/Navajo/Pyramid Lake Paiute/Southern Ute)