To the Members of the Network,

We hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. Like many of you, we have witnessed the tragic and senseless murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

We have also watched its cataclysmic effects all over the world. We are taking this opportunity to say that McDonogh Network stands firmly with the protestors and all those seeking justice. Not only for George Floyd but for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the countless unarmed Black women and men who have died at the hands of law enforcement and vigilantes. These events highlight the racism and inequity that continues to significantly impact the Black community.

Unfortunately, college campuses across the U.S. are not immune to systemic racism and inequity; Lafayette College included. These events may be triggering or conjuring up ugly experiences which many commonly share. We wish this would not be one of the ties that bind us together, however, let’s acknowledge and shift this energy into focusing on how we can support those seeking justice on the front lines.

We are urging the members of the network to take this stand with us for George and others. We are also demanding that other networks and College Administration demonstrate their position as allies by broadly spreading our message and standing with the protestors.

There are many ways our allies and members of the network can be in support of this cause.  The following are just a few:

  1. Research and donate to local bail funds. These can assist protestors who were arrested and are unable to make bail.
  2. Visit the site It’s Nice That  for other great resources to show your support.
  3. Exercise your vote! Primary elections have already begun in some states. Ensure that you are registered to vote and remember that politics starts at home. Voting for local government is just as important as the presidential election.

Note that we are planning to work with the Lafayette College Administration to implement tangible solutions; to improve the quality of life and enhance the Lafayette experience for Black students on campus.

We are offering our love and emotional support to members of the network and all Black students. Please feel free to reach out to us through the network if you have concerns or need a listening ear.

In Solidarity,

Shani Bellegarde ’08 and Ryan Benjamin ’10
Co-Chairs of the McDonogh Network