In 2013, #BlackLivesMatter was created as a Black-centered movement in response to the senseless murder of Trayvon Martin and the trial that resulted in his murderer’s acquittal. Its founders–Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi–envisioned the movement as “an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.” With the deaths of Black women, especially Black trans women, and the lack of resources geared toward their protection, this movement centers those most vulnerable and marginalized. #BlackLivesMatter also serves as an affirmation of all Black humanity, their contributions, and resilience. The movement has grown over the years to a global network of over 40 chapters.
The MultiCultural Center (MCC) respects, affirms and supports the mission and founding principles of #BlackLivesMatter. Over 30 years ago, the MCC was founded through the leadership of Black students and their subsequent protests to combat institutional racism and provide a welcoming space for marginalized students. Through educational programming, student engagement, and community outreach, we are committed to work that will uplift and center the Black community and other marginalized community members, across intersecting categories of difference. We are here to listen, take action, and collaborate with Black students, staff, and faculty at UCSB, as well as those people and institutions invested in doing anti-racist work. As our political climate continuously shifts, so too will our approaches as advocates and as agents of change. We will always ground our approaches in the ongoing struggle to transform the cultural and social life of the university and within our larger communities.
Racism and other forms of oppression against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have no place anywhere. Combatting systems of oppression requires a collective effort. We have to understand our worlds and our struggles as interconnected. We recognize that each one of us holds different privileges and different relationships to power. We also can cause harm. By understanding this, we can build effective, long-term transformational solidarity. All Black lives matter, and we offer our resolute support in affirming Black experiences and the right to justice and liberation, which will ultimately lead to liberation for all.