To Our UMD Community and LGBTQ+ Community Beyond,
On Wednesday, January 6th, the UMD-PRC team joined the world in watching with horror the violent mob of white nationalists attack the Capitol building in an insurrection. This event disrupted the counting of the Electoral College vote, threatening a peaceful transition of power and once again demonstrating the long history of white supremacist violence in America.
We recognize the stark contrast in police response to these violent white supremacists and the protests advocating for Black lives. Further, not only was the police response different, the purpose of these initiatives is drastically disparate, with Black Lives Matter fighting for human rights and justice and the insurrectionists threatening marginalized populations and spreading hateful disinformation. As our Dean stated, “It is heartbreaking to again recognize the perception of threat and violence that is placed upon Black and brown bodies. It was plain to see that white privilege protected those breaking the law. We strive for a true democracy where the lives of all people are valued and can thrive.” We must recognize and name this selective use of police brutality as racism and white supremacy in order to begin to create change.
We acknowledge how traumatic Wednesday’s events have been for the nation, especially for marginalized individuals – particularly Black people, people of color, and Jewish people – who observed the mob carrying hate symbols and chanting violent statements against these groups. This attack only added to the instances of discrimination and violence marginalized individuals face every day.
The UMD-PRC recognizes how the fight against all types of oppression are linked. Our advocacy for LGBTQ+ people cannot be siloed. We must fight for truth, facts, science, equity, health, and justice. Wednesday’s events are yet another demonstration of the importance of structural change in support of marginalized peoples’ mental and physical health. This is the mission of the UMD-PRC. We will continue to use our power and privilege as an institution to contribute to those changes. Our commitment to anti-racism work and intersectional focus only grows stronger.
Whatever emotions you are experiencing, they are normal and valid. We encourage you to engage in rest and healing in whatever way works for you. This includes both self-care and community-care, both of which are immensely important in times of great stress. Please do not hesitate to use the resources below:
Behavioral Health Services: (301) 314-8106
Counseling Center: (301) 314-7651
Faculty Staff Assistance Program (visit the Health Center website to schedule an appointment)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
The Trevor Project: call 1-866-488-7386 or text TREVOR to 1-202-304-1200
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
Finally, despite these horrific events, we want to take a moment to focus on some joy, resilience, and hope. During a pandemic, millions of Americans took to the polls and made their voices heard in a fair election. Black Americans in particular organized to create historic results in Georgia. Although we cannot condone or accept the actions of the President and his government accomplices, we can still be proud of our fellow Americans who have not lost the desire for a democratic and inclusive way of life.
As VP for Student Affairs, Dr. Patty Perillo, wrote in her statement to the UMD community, we “continue to believe in the resiliency of our democracy and our community. We will get through this together and emerge stronger.”
We stand with you in solidarity, and will continue to work towards a healthier, more equitable and just country so that we all may thrive,
The UMD-PRC Team
- Press Releases
- Prevention Research Center