All posts by Brighton Huynh

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Collective of Students Work to Create an Anti-Racist Institution

By Brighton Huynh (CE’21)

(Editors Note: The content of footnotes have been moved to the end of the article. For those whom the letter is addressed to, I have shortened two job titles and moved the full titles to the end of the article to maintain continuity in the formatting of the letter)

Update (1JUL2020): The Cabinet of the President posted a recent response to the collective letter on June 8th recently.

Systemic racism has plagued the country since its founding and continues to do so. The cold-blooded murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and Nina Pop have prompted a mass movement calling for the nation to proactively confront systemic racism. A collective of students took action to ensure that the Cooper Union transforms itself into an actively anti-racist institution. The following is a statement from some of the students involved accompanied by the body of the letter:

The letter below, addressed and delivered on June 8, 2020, to the administration of The Cooper Union, is by no means exhaustive in scope but hopes to serve as merely the beginning of a series of conversations needed to foster and transform The Cooper Union into an actively anti-racist institution. The actions proposed were initially questions and concerns voiced in a town hall hosted by students on June 1, 2020, as well as informed by other school-wide meetings held during that week. The letter circulated around various social media networks to reach students and alumni across the three schools. The letter was edited collaboratively using Google Docs and any signee was permitted to suggest changes and post comments to the letter. Each of these suggested changes or comments were addressed individually by the organizing members. The hope is that these conversations surrounding institutional racism will continue to develop throughout The Cooper Union.

Since the submission of the letter to the administration, the document has been further copyedited for typographical errors and improved readability.

The original collaborative document is available on Google Docs here.

If you wish to add your signature to the letter, please do so here.

If you wish to join the conversation, please read, comment, suggest, and share the developing list of questions—most of which were delivered jointly on June 8, 2020 with the letter below—which is available here.

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