In the course of our education and the pursuit of higher learning and enlightenment at the University of Rhode Island (URI), several events, including the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd by a white man, have motivated students of all races: African-American/Black, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, White/European and others, to band together and organize to act deliberately with one voice to break the fortified structures of systemic racism at our flagship academic institution in Kingston, Rhode Island. We reject a worldview of white supremacy that has reigned unchallenged for 128 years at the University of Rhode Island and with ONE voice speak this Declaration of Diversity to embrace racial equity and to renounce the evils of racism and renounce the evils of white supremacy deeply embedded in our systemically racist university.
We as organized URI students,
hold these facts to be self-evident, that there is a deliberate and racist dehumanizing exclusion of highly qualified African-Americans/Blacks, Latinos/Hispanics, and Native Americans from positions of senior leadership and other positions throughout the university, including: Administrative Staff, Deans, Department Chairs, Faculty, Functional Staff and Students. Our all-White leadership at the University of Rhode Island has not hired a single person descended from enslaved Africans, nor any other African-American or Indigenous person into a senior leadership position (President, Vice President, Provost, Vice Provost) since our university was founded in 1892 [click-URI Presidents]. URI was founded four years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s second most racist decision, Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which legitimized Jim Crow racism as a legal “Separate but Equal” doctrine in U.S. constitutional law. But Plessy was still not as dehumanizing as the most racist U.S. Supreme Court decision Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).
We as organized URI students, have learned from the 1857 Dred Scott opinion, that credible and erudite Chief Justice Roger Taney and SCOTUS explained their decision for denying Dred Scott his God-given right to live as a free dignified human being …
Click below to continue reading the full Declaration of Diversity by URI students