We, Latinx and Chicano/Latino Studies Professors at Michigan State University, stand in solidarity with you, our students. We have borne witness to your struggles, your exhaustion, your hunger, your frustration, your doubts, your tears, and your unwavering dedication to justice.
We recognize that Latinx students and the Chicano/Latino Studies Program have long legacies of activism on this campus. In the spirit of that radical tradition we write to support your efforts to make sustainable spaces for Latinxs and Latinx Studies at MSU. In doing so, you actively transform the white supremacist, heteropatriarchal, cisgender, and elitist culture of the academy, and undermine the structures of exclusion that attempt to render invisible your realities.
We represent many experiences, beliefs, and journeys, but for many of us, your experience is our experience. Histories of oppression and violence connect us. You, first generation student, fifth generation student, are the reason we are here. You, native, (im)migrant, U.S. born student speaking Indigenous languages, or spanish, or english, or a symphony of these, are the reason we are here. You, whose family may not understand the obstacles you face at this university, are the reason we are here. You, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans*, gender nonconforming student, are the reason we are here. You Afro-Latinxs, Latinxs Indigenxs, are the reason we are here. The marginalization of one of us, is the marginalization of all of us.
We stand to witnesses your fierce resistance.
We recognize the danger that you face when hate speech is equated to free speech and when that hate speech and accompanying violence is normalized in the public political arena and on our campus. We condemn the hateful rhetoric spewed by the current republican nominee while recognizing the perilous politics of the democratic nominee.
We support your demands for increased representation on campus and more Latinx faculty, staff, peers, and resources. Our Latinx community is overburdened in attending to the immense academic, emotional, and practical needs of one another. We recognize that the university does not acknowledge nor value this labor and erases our contributions.
We stand in awe of your complex coalition building and your resistance to tactics that attempt to disentangle your struggles with those of Indigenous, Black, and other oppressed peoples. You are the light and the continuation of a centuries-long struggle. In you we see ourselves, our ancestors, our future.
We want to join our voices with yours at this critical time. We love you. We stand with you. We believe in the strength of your convictions and collective action. We promise to keep fighting alongside you.
Suyxs en la lucha,
Yomaira C. Figueroa, English/AAAS/CLS
Delia M. Fernandez, History/CLS
Sheila M. Contreras, English/CLS
Diana Rivera, MSU Libraries Cesar E. Chavez Collection
Sandra Crespo, Education, CLS Board
Isabel Ayala, Sociology/CLS
Kristine Byron, Spanish/CLS/GenCen
Vanessa M. Holden, History
Riyad A. Shahjahan, Education
Maribel Santiago, Education
Danny Méndez, RCS/GSAH
Estrella Torrez, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Scott Michaelsen, English/CLS
Dylan AT Miner, RCAH and American Indian and Indigenous Studies
Juan Javier Pescador, History
Gabriela Alfaraz, Spanish/RCS
Miguel Cabañas, RCS/CLS/GSAH
Leslie D. Gonzales, Education
Sara Fingal, Lyman Briggs College and History
Sandro R. Barros, Education
Xhercis Mendez, Philosophy/AAAS
Eric Gonzalez Juenke, Political Science and Chicano/Latino Studies
Juan Flores, Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions
Erin Graham, History
Steve Cleaves-Jones, Interdisciplinary Studies
Patricia Joly, Migrant Student Services
Emily Villegas, Migrant Student Services
Ryan Kimberauskas, Natural Sciences
Jessica Oyoque, Migrant Student Services
Ron Fisher, Social Sciences
Thomas Jefferson Page, Eli Broad College of Business
Elias Lopez, Migrant Student Services
Rubén Martinez, JSRI
Sean Valles, Lyman Briggs College and Philosophy
Rafael Marinez, MSU-COM
Joshua Slivensky, Communication Arts and Sciences
Matthew D’Alesio, Student Life
Aleksander Oslapas, Advertising
Edilberto (Ed) Montemayor, Emeritus, School of Human Resources and Labor Relations
Osvaldo Hernandez, Center for Integrative Studies in General Science
*We are are responding to our student's righteous demand for faculty support in their struggles for justice and equity on MSU's campus. We are inspired by their work and by the letters of support written for students of color across the country including the "Open letter of Love to Black Students: #BlackLivesMatter", the "Open Letter to Students of Color at Yale from Alumni/ae of Color", "An Open Letter to Afro-Latinxs: You Are Enough and It’s Okay to Have Questions", and countless others.
**If you are a Latinx faculty at Michigan State University and you would like to sign this letter please click on this link and add your name and department/affiliation: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1yk5BXHdHl9HJiT7fe_DyzM9-o9qDd9LfewkUw5OfNDM/edit?usp=sharing